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Past Predoctoral Member: Elizabeth Ma

Fellow, UAB Pre-Doctoral Training in Obesity-Related Research
Department of Nutrition Sciences
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Phone: (205) 996-5620
Full CV

Elizabeth graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a dual Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Cell Biology and Psychology. During this time, she was involved in both basic science biochemical research on various activators of transcription factor II D (TFIID) in Dr. Robert Tjian’s lab at UC Berkeley (with Dr. Wei-Li Liu), as well as clinical research on using imaging studies to predict effectiveness of transarterial chemoembolization therapy in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma at UC San Francisco with Drs. Francis Yao and Nicholas Fidelman, both of which resulted in published manuscripts. After graduation, she worked at the Human Performance Lab at Stanford University to help determine the best return-to-play practices after sports injuries, until she was accepted into UAB’s Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) later that year. In 2011, Elizabeth joined the MSTP, and after having completed her first 2 years of medical school, she is now fully immersed in her PhD studies in the Nutrition Sciences. Her current research involves using microRNA’s to better understand the pathophysiology behind Type II Diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases mediated through insulin resistance, as well as the effects of diet on the microbiome in relation to these disease states. She is also interested in aspects of herbal medicine, immunology, regenerative medicine, and sports medicine.


  1. Ma E, Fu Y, Garvey WT. Relationship of Circulating miRNAs with Insulin Sensitivity and Associated Metabolic Risk Factors in Humans. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2018 Jan 23. doi: 10.1089/met.2017.0101.  Epub 2018 Jan 23. PMID: 29360415
  2. Cohen JL*, Ma E*, Rogers AJ*. Nonmedical Use of Prescription Stimulants by Medical Students: A Call to Action Acad Med. 2017 Jul;92(7):901. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001753 [*All co-first authors, listed in alphabetical order]
  3. Ma E, Ingram KH, Milne GL, Garvey WT. F2-Isoprostanes Reflect Oxidative Stress Correlated With Lean Mass and Bone Density but Not Insulin Resistance. J Endocr Soc. 2017 Apr 7;1(5):436-448. doi: 10.1210/js.2017-00006. eCollection 2017 May 1. PMID: 29264499
  4. Zhang, Wei; Wu, Mengrui; Kim, Teayoun; Jariwala, Ravi H.; Garvey, W. John; Luo, Nanlan; Kang, Minsung; Ma, Elizabeth; Tian, Ling; Steverson, Dennis; Yang, Qinglin; Fu, Yuchang; Garvey, W. Timothy. Skeletal Muscle TRIB3 Mediates Glucose Toxicity in Diabetes and High Fat Diet-Induced Insulin Resistance. Diabetes published ahead of print May 10, 2016, doi:10.2337/db16-0154
  5. Steverson D Jr, Tian L, Fu Y, Zhang W, Ma E, Garvey WT. Tribbles Homolog 3 Promotes Foam Cell Formation Associated with Decreased Proinflammatory Cytokine Production in Macrophages: Evidence for Reciprocal Regulation of Cholesterol Uptake and Inflammation. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2016 Feb;14(1):7-15. doi: 10.1089/met.2015.0037. Epub 2015 Nov 19. PMID: 26584255
  6. Liu WL, Coleman RA, Ma E, Grob P, Yang JL, Zhang Y, Dailey G, Nogales E, Tjian R. Structures of three distinct activator-TFIID complexes. Genes & Development. 2009; 23: 1510-1521
  7. Kwan SW, Fidelman N, Ma E, Kerlan RK Jr, Yao FY. Imaging predictors of the response to transarterial chemoembolization in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma: a radiological-pathological correlation. Liver Transpl. 2012 Jun;18(6):727-36.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
The trainee's projects are supported by Grant Number T32HL105349 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health.

Years: 2014 - July 31, 2017
Mentor(s): Primary - W. Timothy Garvey, MD; co-mentors - Suzanne Judd, PhD and Gareth Dutton, PhD.
Current Location: UAB MD/PHD Medical Scientist Training Program