Dr. Yinfa Ma, professor of chemistry at the University of Missouri-Rolla, has been named Curators’ Teaching Professor of chemistry. The new title will be conferred during UMR commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 15.
The Curators’ Teaching Professorship was established at UMR in 1990 to honor outstanding professors, call attention to teaching excellence, and foster improvements in teaching and learning. The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved Ma’s designation as Curators’ Teaching Professor during its October meeting.
Ma earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at Iowa State University in 1990 and then served on the faculty at Truman State University until 2000, when he joined the chemistry department faculty at UMR. Ma has won numerous teaching awards at UMR and has received honorary professorships from Zhengzhou University and the Chinese Academy of Science.
In 1996, Ma won the Missouri Academy of Science’s Outstanding Scientist Achievement Award and was named Missouri Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He received UMR’s Wilbur Tappmeyer Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002 and 2005.
Ma is on the editorial board of the Journal of Biochemical and Biophysical Methods. He hopes to help develop new instruments and procedures for pre-cancer screening and other bioanalysis. Along with other professors and students, Ma conducts pre-cancer research by using various biomarkers at molecular levels. They use single molecule and single cell imaging techniques to investigate the interactions between cells and toxins. Ma has filed nine patents and has published 63 papers in peer-reviewed journals. One of the papers was named “best paper” this year by the American College of Toxicology.
Ma received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Zhengzhou University in China in 1981. Before coming to the United States, he also worked as that university’s director of undergraduate studies and as an instructor.
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