Dean Ho, M.S., Ph.D.
Professor
Co-Director of the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology
Phone:
(310) 825-7242
Address:
UCLA School of Dentistry
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Box 951668
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668
Office:  73-010 CHS

Biography

Dr. Dean Ho is currently a Professor in the Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, the Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, and Co-Director of the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Prior to coming to UCLA, Dr. Ho was an Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering in the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University. Dr. Ho joined the school as a faculty member in July 2012. 

Educational & Professional Background

  • B.S. Physiological Science, UCLA, 2001

  • M.S. Biomed. Engineering, UCLA, 2003

  • Ph.D. Biomed. Engineering, UCLA, 2005

Research & Interests

Our group is focused on the development of nanomaterials for enhanced therapeutic delivery and imaging and was among the first to demonstrate the application of nanodiamonds towards chemotherapeutic release. Our expertise pertains to nanomaterial-drug synthesis/characterization, as well as efficacy and biocompatibility testing. Our carbon-based platforms have been validated in vitro and in vivo, with observed increases in therapeutic efficacy and safety. I received my Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from UCLA in 2005. Following my term as a Research Associate at the California Institute of Technology, I joined the faculty of Northwestern University as Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering in 2006, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2010. I am currently a Professor at the UCLA School of Dentistry in the Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, Co-Director of the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, and Professor of Bioengineering. I am a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award, and V Foundation for Cancer Research Scholars Award. In 2010, I was an invited attendee of the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. In 2012 I was named the Inaugural Fellow of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening Endowed Fellowship.
Our team is currently working on the development of a spectrum of actively and passively targeted nanodiamond-drug and liposomal complexes for cancer therapy. The use of nanodiamonds, given their
collection translationally-relevant properties, may serve as a vehicle to enhance therapeutic efficacy and safety in pre-clinical models towards improved cancer treatment.

Professional Memberships

  • 2009- Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation

  • 2008- Focused Section Editor, IEEE Nanotechnology Magazine

  • 2007-2012 Associate Editor, Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology

  • 2007 Associate Editor, Journal of Nanotechnology Law and Business

  • 2007-2012 Advanced Science Letters

  • 2007-2008 Co-Chair, ASME Micro/Nano Systems Track, IMECE Conference, Seattle, WA

  • 2007-2008 Member, Technical Program Committee, IEEE-NEMS Conference, Hainan, China, 2008

  • 2006-2007 Member, Technical Program Committee, IEEE-NANO Conference, Hong Kong, August 2, 2007

  • 2006-2007 Member, Technical Program Committee, IEEE-NEMS Conference, Thailand, January 16, 2007

  • 2005- Associate Editor, Journal of Nanotechnology Law and Business

  • 2004- Member, Materials Research Society

Awards

  • 2013 Inaugural Endowed Fellow, Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening Fellowship

  • 2012 Trustee, Board of Trustees, University Camps, Inc.

  • 2012 Finalist, Young Researcher Award, ICYRAM-IUMRS International Conference

  • 2010 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Participant

  • 2010 Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Phase II Translational Research Award

  • 2009 National Science Foundation CAREER Award

  • 2009 Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation

  • 2008 Distinguished Young Alumnus Award, UCLA School of Engineering

  • 2008 Society of Manufacturing Engineers, John G. Bollinger Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award

  • 2008 Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Early Career Award in Translational Research

  • 2008 Invited Talk, Nanodiamond 2008, St. Petersburg, Russia

  • 2008 Invited Talk, Diamond 2008, Barcelona, Spain

  • 2008 Plenary Lecture, 34th Fullerene Society Meeting on Nanotubes and Nanocarbons

  • 2008 Guest Editor, IEEE Nanotechnology Magazine, Nanoengineered Medicine Issue

  • 2008 Guest Editor, Journal of the Association for Laboratory Automation, Nanomedicine Issue

  • 2007 V Foundation for Cancer Research V Scholar Award, 2007 (1 of 15 selected in nation)

  • 2007 Searle Fellow, Northwestern University

  • 2007 Keynote Talk, IEEE Nanomedicine International Conference, 2007

  • 2007 Visiting Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Peking University

  • 2007 IEEE New Faces of Engineering Award (National Engineers Week)

  • 2004 Full Member, Sigma Xi Research Society

  • 2004 University of California, Los Angeles, Bioengineering Dept., Departmental Fellowship

  • 2003 Best Poster Presentation Award Winner, UC Systemwide Bioengineering Symposium

  • 2002 UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award

Representative Publications

  • L.K. Moore, E. K. Chow, E. Osawa, J.M. Bishop, and Dean Ho*, Diamond-lipid hybrids enhance chemotherapeutic tolerance and mediate tumor regression. Advanced Materials, 25, 3532-3541 (2013).

    BACK COVER ARTICLE. This work was the first to feature a self-assembled and targeted nanodiamond-anthracycline complex for targeted drug delivery which resulted in marked tumor regression and improved drug tolerance. The most pre-clinical nanodiamond safety study to date was also performed.

  • E. K. Chow, X.-Q. Zhang, M. Chen, R. Lam, E. Robinson, H. Huang, D. Schaffer, E. Osawa, A. Goga, D. Ho*, Nanodiamond therapeutic delivery agents mediate enhanced chemoresistant tumor treatment. Science Translational Medicine 3, 73ra21 (2011). PMID: 21389265 COVER ARTICLE, This work was the first to demonstrate the application of nanodiamonds in vivo with improved efficacy and safety over clinical standards. Application of nanodiamond-drug complexes resulted in marked enhancements in breast and liver tumor treatment.

  • V. Mochalin, O. Shenderova, D. Ho, and Y. Gogotsi, Properties and Applications of Nanodiamonds. Nature Nanotechnology 7, 11-23 (2011)PMID: 22179567. This work highlighted the major advancements of the nanodiamond field in areas such as medicine, biocompatibility, and scalable synthesis.

  • X. Zhang, R. Lam, X. Xu, E.K.Chow, H. Kim, D. Ho*, Multimodal Nanodiamond Drug Delivery Carriers for Selective Targeting, Imaging, and Enhanced Chemotherapeutic Efficacy. Advanced Materials, 23, 4770-4775 (2011). PMID: 21932280. This work was among the first to demonstrate integrated targeting, imaging and therapy with enhanced efficacy in a single nanodiamond platform.

  • X. Zhang, X. Xu, R. Lam, D. Giljohann, D. Ho*, C. Mirkin*, Strategy for Increasing Drug Solubility and Efficacy through Covalent Attachment to Polyvalent DNA–Nanoparticle Conjugates. ACS Nano, 5, 6962-6970 (2011). PMID: 21812457. This work demonstrated a scalable strategy for the solubilization of paclitaxel with enhanced efficacy in drug-resistant models.