Dr. Sai Ma is Associate Professor, UBC Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.  

Dr. Ma received her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia in 1995 and completed her postdoctoral training in the same department two years later.  In 1997, she joined the faculty in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia.


Dr. Ma’s research has been dedicated to understanding the role that genetics and epigenetics play in male infertility and the outcomes of pregnancies derived from assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Her unique experience in the combination of human ART and reproductive genetics has allowed her to establish an innovative research program in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia. Notably, Dr. Ma was the first to establish the intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) technique for the treatment of male infertility in the UBC IVF clinic.  She was among the first to link meiotic errors, male infertility and increased aneuploidy in the sperm. Her systematic research on ART conceptions has provided detailed information regarding the genetic make-up of the offspring of ART.  Dr. Ma’s research projects have resulted in the publications in numerous papers in several journals in the fields of reproductive medicine and genetics.

For more information on Dr Ma’s research, please visit this link,


Louie K, Minor A, Ng R, Poon K, Chow V, Ma S. Evaluation of DNA methylation at imprinted DMRs in the spermatozoa of oligozoospermic men in association with MTHFR C677T genotype. Andrology. 2016 Jul 1. doi: 10.1111/andr.12240. [Epub ahead of print]

Ren H, Ferguson K, Kirkpatrick G, Vinning T, Chow V, Ma S. Altered Crossover Distribution and Frequency in Spermatocytes of Infertile Men with Azoospermia.  PLoS One. 2016 Jun 6;11(6):e0156817 3.

Vincent RN, Gooding LD, Louie K, Chan Wong E, Ma S. Altered DNA methylation and expression of PLAGL1 in cord blood from assisted reproductive technology pregnancies compared with natural conceptions. Fertil Steril. 2016 May 10. pii: S0015-0282(16)61133-0. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.04.036. [Epub ahead of print]

Ren H, Chow V, Ma S. Meiotic behaviour and sperm aneuploidy in an infertile man with a mosaic 45,X/46,XY karyotype.  Reprod Biomed Online  31:783-789 (2015)

Sakian S, Louie K, Wong EC, Havelock J, Kashyap S, Rowe T, Taylor B, Ma S.  Altered gene expression of H19 and IGF2 in placentas from ART pregnancies.  Placenta  36:1100-1105 (2015)  

Kirkpatrick G, Ren H, Liehr T, Chow V, Ma S. Meiotic and sperm aneuploidy studies in three carriers of Robertsonian translocations and small supernumerary marker chromosomes. Fertil Steril 103:1162-1169 (2015)

Wu EX, Stanar P, Ma S. X-chromosomal inactivation in female newborns conceived by assisted reproductive technologies. Fertil Steril 101:1718-1723 (2014)

Wilson AD, Wu EX, Chan Wong E, Havelock J, and Ma S. Maternal origin of 47,XXY and confined placental mosaicism 47,XXY/48,XXY,+13 in an infant conceived through IVF. J Assist Reprod Genet.  30; 807-182 (2013)

Chan Wong E, Hatakeyama C, Minor A, Ma S. Investigation of confined placental mosaicism by CGH in IVF and ICSI pregnancies. Placenta 33: 202-206 (2012)

Kirkpatrick G and Ma S. Meiotic segregation and interchromosomal effects in a rare (1:2:10) complex chromosomal rearrangement. J Assist Reprod Genet 29: 77-81 (2012)

Kirkpatrick G, Chow V, Ma S. A systematic study of meiotic recombination, synapsis, meiotic inactivation and sperm aneuploidy in a carrier with chromosome 1 inversion. Reprod BioMed Online 24: 91-100 (2012)

Chan Wong E, Hatakeyama C, Minor A, Ma S. DNA methylation at H19 /IGF2 ICR1 in the placenta of SGA pregnancies conceived by IVF and ICSI.  Fertil Steril 30: 2524-2526 (2011)

Minor A, Chow V, Ma S. Aberrant DNA methylation at imprinted genes in testicular sperm retrieved from men with obstructive azoospermia and post vasectomy reversal. Reproduction 141:749-57 (2011)

Tang S, Gao HJ, Zhao Y, Ma S. Aneuploidy and DNA fragmentation in morphologically abnormal sperm.  Int Int J Androl.  33: e163-79 (2010)

Ferguson K, Leung S, Jiang D, Ma S. Distribution of MLH1 foci and inter-focal distances in spermatocytes of infertile men. Hum Reprod 24: 1313-1321 (2009)

Kirkpatrick G, Ferguson KA, Gao H, Tang S, Chow V, Ho Yuen B, Ma S. A comparison of sperm aneuploidy rates between infertile men with normal and abnormal karyotypes.  Hum Reprod 23: 1679-1683 (2008)

Ferguson K, Chow V, Ma S. Silencing of unpaired meiotic chromosomes and altered recombination patterns in an azoospermic carrier of a t(8;13) reciprocal translocation. Hum Reprod 23: 988-995 (2008)

Chan Wong E, Ferguson  K, Chow V, Ma S. Sperm aneuploidy and meiotic status of an XYY infertile man.  Hum Reprod 23: 374-378 (2008)

Ferguson K, Chan Wong E, Chow V, Nigro M, Ma S.  Abnormal meiotic recombination in infertile men and its association with sperm aneuploidy.  Hum Mol Genet 16:2870-2879 (2007)

Minor A, Wong EC, Harmer H, Ma S. Molecular and cytogenetic investigation of Y chromosome deletion over three generations facilitated with ICSI.  Prenat Gene Diag  27: 743-747 (2007)


Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Chromosomal and epigenetic abnormalities after ICSI treatment for male infertility.

PI: Sai Ma

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Investigation of meiotic defects as an underlying cause of male infertility

PI: Sai Ma

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

The role of genetics and epigenetics in meiotic errors underlying impaired spermatogenesis in male infertility

PI: Sai Ma


1. Investigation of meiotic and imprinting defects in male factor infertility
2. Study of chromosomal and epigenetic abnormalities in ART pregnancies