Biography - Professor Julian Ma

Professor Julian Ma

Name: Professor Julian K-C Ma
Position: Hotung chair of molecular immunology, joint director of the Infection and Immunity Research Institute

Tel:+44(0) 208 725 5818


Recombinant protein pharmaceuticals; Molecular Pharming; plant biotechnology; genetically modified plants; mucosal Immunology; antibody engineering; protein engineering; vaccines; immunity.


Professor Julian Ma is joint director of the Infection and Immunity Research Institute at St George's, University of London.  He joined St George’s in October 2003 to specialise in molecular pharming - the production of medicines by plants.

Prior to this Professor Ma graduated in dentistry at Guy’s Hospital in 1983 where he also gained his PhD in immunology under Professor Thomas Lehner, studying anti-microbial immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies (antibodies produced in the laboratory by a single clone of cells or a cell line and consisting of identical antibody molecules).

Professor Ma was a post-doctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute, at La Jolla, California, in Dr Andrew Hiatt’s laboratory, the first laboratory to describe expression of monoclonal antibodies in transgenic plants. On his return to Guy’s in 1992 Professor Ma set up his own laboratory to continue this work.

In 1993 Professor Ma was awarded an Advanced Training fellowship by the Wellcome Trust. In 1997 Professor Ma was made Consultant in Immunology and Oral Immunotherapy at Guy’s Hospital Dental School, the first consultant appointment in Oral Immunology in the UK.

Professor Ma was the scientific co-ordinator of Pharma-Planta, a European Union Framework Programme 6 project to develop pharmaceuticals from plant-derived proteins. Professor Julian Ma is also the vice chair for the European COST Action on Molecular Farming that co-ordinates research and policy activities in 28 European countries.