Weiya Ma

Academic title(s): 

Assistant Professor

Weiya Ma
Contact Information
Email address: 
weiya.ma [at] douglas.mcgill.ca
(514) 761-6131 ext.2935

6875 LaSalle Boulevard
H4H 1R3
(514) 761-6131 ext. 2935


Department of Psychiatry
Assistant Professor, Dept. Of Psychiatry and Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University
Research areas: 
Basic Science
Areas of interest: 

Research Interests

Chronic pain is a serious unmet clinical need which severely deteriorates the life quality of patients. Inflammatory pain such as arthritis and neuropathic pain such as sciatica and trigeminal neuralgia are typical conditions of chronic pain. Due to unclear mechanisms, the treatment for chronic pain is frequently unsatisfactory. Thus research to decode the mechanisms of chronic pain conditions is very important for improving the treatment of chronic pain. My long term research interest is to advance the understanding of the role of inflammatory mediators in the pathogenesis of chronic pain conditions.

My current research interest focuses on uncovering the contribution of invading macrophage derived COX2/PGE2 in injured nerves to stimulating the synthesis of pain-related molecules, such as neuropeptides, growth factors and cytokines, in primary nociceptive sensory neurons following nerve injury. Hopefully, the data generated from this line of research will narrow the knowledge gap on the underlying mechanisms of neuropathic pain and will open novel therapeutic avenues to tackle this deliberating disease.

My second research focus is on raveling the role of PGE2 EP receptor trafficking in nociception, acute and chronic pain conditions. Modulation of EP receptor trafficking could be a potential therapeutic avenue to treat both acute and chronic pain conditions.

We are currently using both in vitro and in vivo experimental models to tackle our research questions at behavioral, cellular and molecular levels. In vitro models include primary neuronal or glial cultures, immortalized cell line cultures and ex vivo tissue explant cultures while in vivo models range from acute pain models to chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain models. Technique expertise encompass multidisciplinary approaches including pain behavior testing (electronic von Frey test, hot plate test, cold allodynia test, etc), pharmacological method (injection of drugs through intraperitoneal, intraplantar, perineural and intrathecal routes, etc.), morphological method (neuronal tract tracing, cell imaging, immunocytochemistry, receptor binding, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, in situ hybridization, etc.) and biochemical method (Western blotting, ELISA, immunoprecipitation, quantitative real time PCR, etc.).


Basic research on pain mechanisms

Full Member
Back to top