Dr. Ho is Deputy Chief of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where he also heads the Antibody Therapy Section and is the founding Director of the NCI Antibody Engineering Program at the NIH. Dr. Ho is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Antibody Therapeutics (Oxford University Press), a member of the Board of Directors for the Antibody Society, and a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of Scientific Advisory Committee for the Chinese Antibody Society.
The lack of cancer-specific molecules in solid tumors has been a major obstacle in developing effective therapies for most cancers. Dr. Ho has studied cancer-specific cell surface molecules and developed antibody engineering-based therapies for several challenging cancers including liver cancer, rare cancers such as mesothelioma, and childhood cancers such as neuroblastoma. He has developed an innovative basic research program that has characterized a group of cell surface proteins called glypicans, including GPC1, GPC2, and GPC3, as excellent targets for antibody engineering-based immune therapy. His basic research has generated an effective clinical evaluation pipeline that includes several paradigm-shifting cancer therapeutics. Among them, CAR T cells specifically targeting GPC3, GPC2, and mesothelin created by Dr. Ho’s research group are being evaluated in clinical trials. Additionally, Dr. Ho was the first to report the mammalian cell display methodology for antibody engineering. By analyzing antigen recognition sequence and structure repertoires, his lab generated large single-domain antibody (also known as ‘nanobody’) phage display libraries from nurse sharks and dromedary camels and isolated potent nanobodies that target cancer as well as virus such as SARS-CoV-2.
Dr. Ho received a B.S. from East China Normal University and a M.A. from San Francisco State University. After working at DNAX Research Institute and Protein Design Labs as a research associate, he moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he received a Ph.D. as a NIH/NIDA National Research Service Award predoctoral fellow. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Ira Pastan’s lab at the NCI. Dr. Ho has received many scientific recognitions and awards, including the Asian and Pacific Islander American Organization (APAO) Scientific Achievement Award, the Dr. Francisco S. Sy Award for Excellence in Mentorship at HHS, the NCI Director’s Innovation Award, the NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research Innovation Award, and the NIH Director’s Challenge Innovation Award.