Dr. Ma won a highly prestigious award from the Welch Foundation: 2004 Norman Hackerman Award for Chemical Research. The award is for recognizing his outstanding contributions to biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology. It consists of a $100,000 check, a certificate and a crystal sculpture symbolizing a rising star.

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"It is my opinion that Dr. Ma is the most outstanding young investigator in the field of chemical research in Texas."
--Richard E. Smalley
Nobel Laureate, Gene and Norman Hackerman Professor of Chemistry and professor of physics, Rice Unversity

"Dr. Ma truly is a rising star in the state of Texas. His outstanding contributions to so many aspects of structural biology will undoubtedly have a long-term impact on the research of chemistry and biochemistry."
--Salih J. Wakil
Chairman of Verna and Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine

"Dr. Ma is an outstanding research chemist as well as dedicated educator. He is a leader in his field and his persistence and diligence are an inspiration to his colleagues and students alike."
--Richard J. V. Johnson
Chairman of the Welch Foundation

"Dr. Ma sets broad boundaries and is not afraid to delve into complex research problems. He is able to see connections that other people would overlook and his innovative methods for solving such problems have allowed him to glean useful information that will further our fundamental understanding of chemistry."
--Norman Hackerman