Dr Yuk Ting Ma MBChB (hons), MRCP, PhD

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
Senior Clinical Lecturer in Hepatobiliary Oncology

Contact details

Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Yuk Ting Ma is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Hepatobiliary Oncology in the Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy and an Honorary Consultant in Hepatobiliary Oncology at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

Her research is focussed on understanding how epigenetic therapies may be used to reverse resistance to chemotherapy and also in understanding the immune responses following treatment in hepatobiliary cancers.


  • PhD, University of Birmingham - 2011
  • MRCP (UK) - 2003
  • MBChB (hons), University of Birmingham - 2000


Yuk Ting studied Medicine at the University of Birmingham, graduating with honours in 2000. She undertook general medical training in Birmingham gaining Membership of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in 2003. She then undertook specialist training in Medical Oncology in the West Midlands region and was awarded a CRUK Clinical Research Training Fellowship in 2005. Her PhD investigating smoking- and viral-induced epigenetic changes in cervical epithelia was supervised by Professor Paul Murray and the late Professor Ciaran Woodman, in the University of Birmingham. In 2012, Yuk Ting was appointed as a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Hepatobliary Oncology at the University of Birmingham, and as an Honorary Consultant in Hepatobiliary Oncology at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.


Postgraduate supervision

Yuk Ting has supervised the laboratory projects of a number of BMedSci students

For any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.


The development of resistance to cytotoxic or targeted therapy in a cancer patient greatly limits the effectiveness of available anticancer therapies. A variety of mechanisms of resistance have been identified including enhanced drug metabolism, drug efflux from cancer cells and activation of alternative survival pathways. Recently dynamic chromatin modifications have been identified as a key determinant in the maintenance of subpopulations of cancer cells with high-level resistance to cytotoxic therapy. Dr Ma’s research focuses on understanding how epigenetic drugs may be used to reverse chemotherapy resistance.

Recent experimental studies have also shown that epigenetic drugs can have potent immunomodulating effects and Yuk Ting is also studying the immune responses in patients following treatment, and ultimately whether this may be modulated with epigenetic drugs.

Other activities

  • Member of the NCRI Upper GI CSG


Edeline J, Blanc JF, Johnson P, Campillo-Gimenez P, Ross P, Ma YT, King J, Hubner RA, Sumpter K, Darby S, Evans J, Iwuji C, Swinson D, Collins P, Patel K, Muazzam I, Palmer DH and Meyer T (2016) A multicenter comparison between Child Pugh and ALBI classifications in patients treated with sorafenib for hepatocellular carcinoma. Liver Int [Epub ahead of print]

Buonaguro L; HEPAVAC Consortium (2016) Developments in cancer vaccines for hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer Immunol Immunother 65(1):93-9

Palmer DH, Hussain SA, Smith AJ, Hargreaves S, Ma YT, Hull D, Johnson PJ and Ross PJ (2013) Sorafenib for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC): impact of rationing in the United Kingdom. Br J Cancer 109(4):888-90

Ma YT and Palmer DH (2012) Impact of restricting access to high-cost medications for hepatocellular carcinoma. Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res 12(4):465-73

Geh JI and Ma YT (2011) Commentary: Evolution of systemic therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer. Colorectal Dis 13(8):852-4

Ma YT, Cullen MH and Hussain SA (2011) Biology of germ cell tumours. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 25(3):457-71

Ma YT, Collins SI, Young LS, Murray PG and Woodman CB (2011) Smoking initiation is followed by the early acquisition of epigenetic change: a longitudinal study. Br J Cancer 104(9):1500-4

View all publications in research portal