David D. Ho, M.D. (HST '87) is the founding Scientific Director
and Chief Executive Officer of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center,
a world-renowned biomedical research institute. He is also the Irene
Diamond Professor at The Rockefeller University.
Dr. Ho received his degrees from California Institute of Technology (1974) and Harvard Medical School (1978). Subsequently, he did his clinical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center/UCLA School of Medicine (1978-1982) and Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School (1982-1985), respectively. Dr. Ho has been actively engaged in AIDS research for 24 years, and has published over 350 papers on the subject. Among an impressive list of seminal contributions to the field, he is perhaps most recognized for the elucidation of the dynamic nature of HIV replication in infected persons. This basic understanding led Dr. Ho and his coworkers to champion combination antiretroviral therapy, including the use of protease inhibitors, that has resulted in dramatic reductions in AIDS-associated mortality in developed countries since 1996. Dr. Ho continues to pursue therapeutic studies that attempt to eradicate HIV. In addition, his research team is now devoting considerable efforts to develop a vaccine to halt the spread of the AIDS epidemic. Furthermore, he is now heading up a consortium of Chinese and American organizations to help address the crisis of HIV/AIDS in China.
Dr. Ho has received numerous honors and awards for his scientific accomplishments. He is the recipient of seven honorary doctorates (including from Swarthmore, Tufts, Columbia, and University of Natal). He has been chosen as the commencement speaker at Caltech, MIT, and Harvard School of Public Health. Additional accolades include the Ernst Jung Prize in Medicine, Mayor's Award for Excellence in Science & Technology, the Squibb Award, and the Hoechst Marion Roussel Award. Dr. Ho has been elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Academia Sinica (Republic of China), Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Science in the United States.
Dr. Ho is also an honorary professor at Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Wuhan University, and Fudan University. He served on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University, and he currently sits on the Board of Trustees of the California Institute of Technology, and Board of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Corporation.
Dr. Ho was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1996, and was the recipient of a Presidential Medal in 2001.