Mary Ma


Mary obtained a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Bristol in 2017 before she joined the Pliotas and Smith groups in the University of St. Andrews.

In Sep 2018, Mary transfered to the University of Leeds as a second year student due to her supervisor Dr Pliotas.

Mary is working on challenging membrane protein targets including mechanosensitive channels and PI synthases. During her PhD in the Pliotas group she will employ x-ray crystallography and single molecule electrophysiology to investigate channel structure and function respectively. 

Research interests

Mechanosensitive ion channels gate in response to changes in the tension in the membrane bilayer and therefore lipids play a key role in their regulation. These channels are widely distributed across life kingdoms and present distinct structural architectures, pore size openings and activities. My reasearch mainly about the stractural and fucntion characterization of novel eukaryotic mechanosensitive ion channels. Including putative piezo like protein, Traak channel.





  • BSc Biochemistry, University of Bristol