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Lichun Ma, Ph.D.

Lichun Ma, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Cancer Data Science Laboratory

RESEARCH SUMMARY

Lichun Ma, Ph.D., is a systems biologist with a specific focus on understanding the intrinsic tumor biology of liver cancer using single-cell and spatial approaches. Her research centers on tumor heterogeneity in the context of tumor initiation and evolution with the goal of improving early detection and therapeutics for liver cancer.  In addition to her role as a principal investigator within the Cancer Data Science Laboratory, Dr. Ma is also affiliated with the CCR Liver Cancer Program.

Areas of Expertise

1) single cell genomics 2) spatial omics 3) systems biology 4) cancer biology 5) liver cancer 6) immunotherapy

Publications

Selected Key Publications

Tumor Cell Biodiversity Drives Microenvironmental Reprogramming in Liver Cancer

Ma L, Hernandez MO, Zhao Y, Mehta M, Tran B, Kelly M, Rae Z, Hernandez JM, Davis JL, Martin SP, Kleiner DE, Hewitt SM, Ylaya K, Wood BJ, Greten TF, Wang XW.
Cancer Cell. 36(4): 418-430, 2019.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Single-cell atlas of tumor cell evolution in response to therapy in hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

Ma L, Wang L, Khatib SA, Chang CW, Heinrich S, Dominguez DA, Forgues M, Candia J, Hernandez MO, Kelly M, Zhao Y, Tran B, Hernandez JM, Davis JL, Kleiner DE, Wood BJ, Greten TF, Wang XW.
J Hepatol. 75(6): 1397-1408, 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Gut Microbiome Directs Hepatocytes to Recruit MDSCs and Promote Cholangiocarcinoma

Zhang Q, Ma C, Duan Y, Heinrich B, Rosato U, Diggs LP, Ma L, Roy S, Fu Q, Brown ZJ, Wabitsch S, Thovarai V, Fu J, Feng D, Ruf B, Cui LL, Subramanyam V,
Frank KM, Wang S, Kleiner DE, Ritz T, Rupp C, Gao B, Longerich T, Kroemer A, Wang XW, Ruchirawat M, Korangy F, Schnabl B, Trinchieri G, Greten TF.
Cancer Discov. 11(5): 1248-1267, 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Single-cell biology uncovers apoptotic cell death and its spatial organization as a potential modifier of tumor diversity in HCC

Khatib SA, Ma L, Dang H, Forgues M, Chung JY, Ylaya K, Hewitt SM, Chaisaingmongkol J, Rucchirawat M, Wang XW.
Hepatology. Jan 16: Epub ahead of print, 2022.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Dissecting liver tumor heterogeneity to improve health equity

Ma L, Wang XW.
Trends in Cancer. Jan 7: S2405-8033(21)00249-1, 2022.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Covers

Cover-Cancer Cell

Dissecting Tumor Cell Biodiversity by A Single-cell Approach

Published Date

On the cover: Liver cancers are molecularly and biologically heterogenous, which contributes to their therapeutic failures and lethal outcomes. Ma et al. (pp. 418–430) have developed a single-cell-based approach to determine tumor cell communities (depicted as dice emptying out of a jar) and uncover a unique liver cancer ecosystem relevant to immune therapy. A tumor cell community is depicted by dice with different colors and shapes, where color represents cell type and shape represents unique molecular properties. Artwork by Ethan Tyler.

Citation

Ma L, Hernandez MO, Zhao Y, Mehta M, Tran B, Kelly M, Rae Z, Hernandez JM, Davis JL, Martin SP, Kleiner DE, Hewitt SM, Ylaya K, Wood BJ, Greten TF, Wang XW. Tumor cell biodiversity drives microenvironmental reprogramming in liver cancer. Cancer Cell 36: 418-30, 2019; PMID: 31588021.