MDI Biological Laboratory

Meet Our Postdocs: Zhengxin Ma, Ph.D.

Zhengxin Ma, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral researcher in the Rogers Lab. She uses C. elegans to study how dietary restriction can increase lifespan and protect against age-related diseases.

Zhengxin first encountered C. elegans during her graduate studies at the University of Florida, where she earned a M.S. in animal nutrition and a Ph.D. in animal microbiology, studying how to mitigate antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. She used the model to test the toxicity of bacterial toxins and chemicals and was hooked. When it came time to pursue her postdoctoral research, she knew she wanted to learn more about C. elegans and translation, the process of converting the sequence of a messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule to a sequence of amino acids during protein synthesis. Following her curiosity led her to her mentor, Aric Rogers, Ph.D., and MDI Biological Laboratory.

While it is known that dietary restriction without malnutrition increases lifespan and protects against age-related disease, the details of this process are poorly understood. Dr. Ma arrived at MDIBL in mid-2020 to research how dietary restriction changes translation and what pathways are affected, contributing to the larger work of the Rogers and Rollins Labs at MDIBL, both of which focus on aging in the C. elegans model. “I’ve learned so much here at MDIBL, and I’m confident the knowledge and experience I’m receiving will be very beneficial for my future career,” said Ma.

A postdoctoral position requires $100,000 investment each year. While some federal funding opportunities exist, independent financial support is vital to allowing postdoctoral researchers to complete their last stage of training while they progress important research questions. Supporting postdoctoral fellows is investing in the very future of science itself and Zhengxin is thankful of the support of our generous donors. “With your help, we, the scientists, can focus on the important research we are all interested in,” Ma said. “I’m hopeful our efforts will turn into positive, useful results in the near future.”

If you’d like to invest in the future of science by supporting postdoctoral researchers, like Zhengxin, please donate today! Thank you.