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If you like David Ho's story, you might also like:
Paul Farmer,
John Gearhart,
Jeong Kim,
Antonia Novello,
Jonas Salk and
Bert Vogelstein

David Ho also appears in the video:
Frontiers of Medicine

Related Links:
Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center

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David Ho
David Ho
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David Ho Biography

AIDS Research Pioneer

David Ho Date of birth: November 3, 1952

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  David Ho
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David Ho was born Ho Da-i in the small city of Tai Chung, on the island of Taiwan. His father, who had served as a translator for U.S. troops in China during World War II, left David, his mother, and a younger brother behind to pursue graduate engineering studies in the United States. When Mr. Ho sent for his family, he chose new American names from the Bible, and Ho Da-i became David Ho. David and his brother arrived in the new land unable to speak English. Their father had insisted that they postpone learning the language until they came to America, so they would learn to speak with as little Chinese accent as possible.

The family initially settled in a largely black neighborhood in central Los Angeles, near the University of Southern California, where Mr. Ho was completing his master's degree. David spent his first months of school in frustrated bewilderment, unable to follow lessons in the unfamiliar language. He was ridiculed by his classmates for his inability to speak or understand, but within six months he had made progress in the language, and graduated with honors.

David Ho Biography Photo
After high school he attended both MIT and Cal Tech as a physics major, but he soon decided molecular biology was most exciting field in modern science. He won a scholarship to Harvard Medical School and, as resident at UCLA Medical Center, saw some of the first documented cases of AIDS. He dedicated himself to combating the mysterious killer.

After the virus was identified, most researchers believed that the disease entered a dormant phase after the initial infection, since most patients did not become seriously ill until months or years after the first exposure. Dr. Ho's research proved that the virus actually multiplies in vast numbers from the very beginning, while the immune system exhausts itself fighting the virus. Armed with this discovery, Dr. Ho shifted attention from treatment of the final losing months of the disease and sought a way to fight the virus in the first stages of the infection. He devised the "cocktails" of protease inhibitors and other antiviral drugs which have brought about remarkable recoveries in may cases. It is hoped that continued use of these therapies may eliminate the virus entirely in persons already infected. His breakthrough work with the treatment of AIDS moved TIME magazine to name him its "Man of the Year" in 1996.

At age 37, David Ho was chosen to serve as the founding director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York City. He is now Scientific Director and Chief Executive Officer of the center, as well as Irene Diamond Professor of Medicine at Rockefeller University. The focus of his research has moved from the treatment of AIDS to the development of vaccines for the disease. He also heads a consortium of organizations in China and the U.S., working to address the crisis of HIV-AIDS in China. Dr. Ho and his wife, artist Susan Kuo, make their home in Chappaqua, New York They have three children.

This page last revised on Nov 10, 2010 11:31 EDT
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