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Prof. David D. Ho

International Awards

Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence - Immunity

Prof. David D. Ho is the Clyde ’56 and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, the Founding Scientific Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and the Director of Wu Family China Center at Columbia University. 

Professional Milestones

Prof. Ho received his studies and degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, and Harvard Medical School. He was trained at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, UCLA School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.

Since 1972, he has been appointed to different positions; a fellow in Medicine at Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital, an Associate Professor of Medicine at UCLA School of Medicine, and a Professor of Medicine and Microbiology, at New York University. He was also the Irene Diamond Professor at Rockefeller University. In 2020, he became the Wu Family China Center Director at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He participated in teaching graduate courses on virology at Rockefeller University for the past 20 years, and he has been a mentor for tens of researchers over the last decades.

Prof. Ho is a Member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Academia Sinica of the Republic of China. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a member of many committees and task forces, like the New York City COVID-19 Task Force, the Health and Mental Hygiene Advisory Council, the Academic Council at Rockefeller University, the UNAIDS Vaccine Advisory Committee, the President’s National Task Force on AIDS Drug Development & the Co-Chair of the Drug Discovery Subcommittee and many others. Besides, he was the Presidential Appointee of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders,

Research & Achievements

Prof. Ho has been at the forefront of AIDS research for 40 years. He not only provided scientific insight but also served as the initial driving force behind a medical breakthrough. He has been engaged in emerging virus research since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, initially focusing on clinical virology and selected topics in HIV pathogenesis.  

His research unraveled the dynamic nature of HIV replication in vivo and revolutionized the basic understanding of this disease. For the past decade, Prof. Ho has shifted his research focus to developing strategies to prevent HIV transmission, including the engineering of exquisitely potent bispecific antibodies and the development of long-acting antiretroviral drugs as pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Prof. Ho is now a leader in the coordinated response at Columbia University to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on understanding the clinical disease. His research team makes seminal contributions to understanding how successive SARS-CoV-2 variants evolved to evade antibody immunity. He is devoting considerable effort to developing novel strategies to diagnose, treat and prevent Covid-19 infection.

He has published hundreds of scientific papers on different topics, such as the elucidation of lymphocyte turnover during HIV infection, the development of antibodies or long-acting drugs for HIV prevention, SARS-Cov-2 therapeutic antibodies and medicines, and many others.

He has also declared tens of patents and participated as an invited speaker in international scientific gatherings.

Awards and Recognition

Prof. Ho received 14 Honorary Doctorates of Science from several universities, including the University of Southern California, the University of Hong Kong, Tulane University, the University of Natal, Columbia University, the State University of New York, and others.

He received several awards and recognitions; he was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1996. He received the Avant-Garde Award from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the US Presidential Medal from Bill Clinton, the Stevens Triennial Prize for Excellence in Original Medical Research from Columbia University, and the National Leadership Award from the National AIDS Memorial. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award by Caltech. The Kingdom of Thailand also recognized Prof. Ho with the Prince Mahidol Award in Medicine.

In recognition of his distinguished contributions and pioneering work in AIDS research, and description of the HIV mechanism of replication, Prof. David D. Ho truly deserves the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence - Immunity for the term 2021-2022.