Ma, Hongshen

Basic Info

Academic Rank:

Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UBC


Centre for Blood Research


Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS)

Short Bio

Current Positions

  • Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Engineering.
  • Associate member, Department of Urologic Sciences.
  • Senior Research Scientist, Vancouver Prostate Centre, Vancouver General Hospital.
  • Associate member, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Dr. Hongshen Ma is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and School of Biomedical Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from UBC, master’s from the Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and PhD from Electrical Engineering at MIT. Dr. Ma’s research program aims to develop new technologies to interrogate and manipulate biological systems at the cellular scale with a specific focus on cytometry and cell separation. His work include the development of microfluidic devices to analyze cell deformability and to separate cells based on deformability.

These devices are being used to analyze the loss of red blood cell deformability as a biomarker in transfusion medicine and falciparum malaria, as well as the separation of circulating tumor cells from prostate cancer patients. Dr. Ma’s research also includes the development of machine learning algorithms for image cytometry, as well as technologies for image-based cell separation and single cell sequencing.


Academic Backgrounds

  • Postdoctoral Scientist, Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • M.S., Media Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • B.A.Sc., Engineering Physics, University of British Columbia.

Awards & Recognition

Selected Publications


Current Openings & Opportunities

Current Projects In My Lab include


The overarching goal of our research is the development of new technologies for medical research and treatment. Our work is enabled by advances in fabrication, measurement, and computation across a wide range of domains and length scales. Our core capabilities include microfabrication, microfluidics, instrumentation and automation, data analytics, and product development. Current research areas include 1) the development of new technologies for cell sorting, cell biomechanics, single cell sequencing, and cell migration and chemotaxis; as well as 2) the application of these technologies to study circulating tumor cells, personalize cancer therapies, assess blood quality, and expedite antimalarial drug development.