Pingchuan Ma

Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences: Neurosciences (PhD)


Pingchuan Ma (马平川) is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis. His current research focuses on the dynamics of neuromodulation actions in the brain and how they impact neuronal functions and behavior. He combines specialized optical imaging methods with brain slice physiology and mouse behavior to study the cholinergic neuromodulation in the hippocampus.

Pingchuan grew up in the rural area of Shandong Province, China and earned his medical degree from Peking University, Beijing, in 2016. Before joining WashU and the McDonnell Academy in 2018, Pingchuan did research at Harvard Medical School and Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, working on interdisciplinary studies of neuro-immunological mechanisms of pain sensations and host defense to pathogens. The long-term goal of Pingchuan’s research is to provide therapeutic insights into some neurological or psychiatric diseases. Pingchuan has published several first-authored or co-authored research articles in leading journals including Pain, Journal of Neuroscience, and Cell.

Outside research work, Pingchuan likes hiking, talking about politics, watching sports and movies, playing instruments, and board games.