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    Dean Ho, Ph.D., Professor and Co-Director, The Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology



  • Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology, UCLA School of Dentistry

Contact Info:

The Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology
UCLA School of Dentistry
Box 951668, CHS B3-087
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1668



Dr. Dean Ho, is is currently a Professor in the Division of Oral Biology and Medicine, the Division of Advanced Prosthodontics, Biomaterials, and Hospital Dentistry, and Co-Director of the Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Dr. Ho joined the school as a faculty member in July 2012.

Honors and Awards:
  • Finalist, ICYRAM-IUMRS Young Researcher Award, 2012
  • Distinguished Speaker, Wu Ta-You Science Camp Symposium, 2012
  • Closing Plenary Speaker, New Diamond and Nano Carbon Conference, 2012
  • Opening Keynote Speaker, SLAS Asia 2012
  • National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium Invitee, 2010
  • Invited Speaker, Advanced Carbon Nanostructures, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Phase II Translational Research Award, 2010
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2009
  • Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Laboratory Automation (JALA), Multidisciplinary Journal in 14th year of publication pertaining to technologies for diagnostics and drug delivery/screening (http://www.labautomation.org/news/pr111308c.pdf)
  • Society for Manufacturing Engineering John G. Bollinger Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, 2009
  • Distinguished Young Alumnus Award - UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science, 2008
  • Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Early Career Award in Translational Research, 2008
  • V Foundation for Cancer Research V Scholar (1 of 15 selected in the nation), 2008
  • Plenary Speaker, 34th Fullerene-Nanotube Research Society International Meeting, Nagoya, Japan, 2008
  • Invited Speaker, Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center, Karolinska Institute
  • Searle Fellow, Northwestern University, 2008
  • Keynote Speaker, IEEE International Conference on Nano/Molecular Medicine and Engineering (IEEE-NANOMED), 2007
  • Visiting Professor, Peking University Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • IEEE New Faces of Engineering
Research Interests:

Dr. Ho leads an internationally-recognized team focused on the development of nanodiamond platforms for drug delivery and imaging. His research group has developed multiple approaches towards improved therapeutic efficiency and safety using the nanodiamond vehicle and applications have included gene delivery, therapeutic protein release for potential wound healing use, and most notably, cancer therapy.

In the area of chemotherapy, Professor Hos team developed NDX, a nanodiamond-drug complex based upon the potent interaction of the diamond surface with doxorubicin, a commonly used cancer drug in the clinic that is also highly toxic. Through the synthesis of NDX, a marked enhancement in drug efficacy and reduced toxicity were demonstrated over clinical standards. This discovery is highlighted in a recent cover article in Science Translational Medicine demonstrating the administration of NDX towards the enhanced treatment of multiple drug-resistant cancer models in mice. His research achievements have garnered news coverage on the CNN and NPR homepages, Reuters, Yahoo, Voice of America and The Chicago Tribune, among other international news outlets.

Dr. Ho has also appeared on the National Geographic Channel program 'Known Universe' which aired domestically and internationally. Dr. Ho is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Laboratory Automation.

Science - Translational Medicine

Courtesy: American Association for the Advancement of Science/Science Translational Medicine, artwork by C. Bickel

  • 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). Cover Article; Featured on NPR Homepage, Agence France, etc.
  • V. Mochalin, O. Shenderova, D. Ho, and Y. Gogotsi, Properties and Applications of Nanodiamonds. Nature Nanotechnology 7, 11-23 (2011) 
  • 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)..
  • 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).
  • A. Smith, E. Robinson, X. Zhang, E. Chow, E. Osawa, and D. Ho “Triggered Release of Therapeutic Antibodies from Nanodiamond Complexes,” Nanoscale, 3, 2844-2848, (2011).
  • M. Chen, X. Zhang, H. Man, R. Lam, E. Chow, and D. Ho* “Nanodiamond Vectors Functionalized with Polyethylenimine for siRNA Delivery” J. Phys. Chem.-L, 1 (21), pp 3167–3171, 2010.
  • A. Adnan, R. Lam, H. Chen, J. Lee, D. Schaffer, A. Barnard, G. Schatz, D. Ho, and W. K. Liu, Atomistic Simulation and Measurement of pH Dependent Cancer Therapeutic Interactions with Nanodiamond Carrier, Mol. Pharm., 8 (2), pp 368–374, 2010.
  • L. Manus, D.J. Mastarone, E.A. Waters, X.-Q. Zhang, E.A. Schultz-Sikma, K.W. MacRenaris, D. Ho, and T.J. Meade, Gd(III)-Nanodiamond Conjugates for MRI Contrast Enhancement. Nano Lett., 2010, 10 (2), 484–489. Featured in MIT Technology Review
  • X. Zhang, M. Chen, R. Lam, X. Xu, E. Osawa, and D. Ho “Polymer-Functionalized Nanodiamond Platforms as Vehicles for Gene Delivery,” ACS Nano, 2009, 3 (9), pp 2609–2616.
  • R. Shimkunas, E. Robinson, X. Zhang, R. Lam, X. Xu, E. Osawa, and D. Ho, Nanodiamond-Insulin Complexes as pH-dependent Protein Delivery Vehicles,” Biomaterials, 30, 5720-5728, (2009).
  • D. Ho, “Beyond the Sparkle: The Impact of Nanodiamonds as Biolabeling and Therapeutic Agents,” ACS Nano, 3(12), p. 3825-3829, 2009.
  • M. Chen, E. Robinson, H. Huang, E. Pierstorff, and D. Ho “Parylene-Encapsulated Copolymeric Membranes as Localized and Sustained Drug Delivery Platforms,” Annals of the Biomedical Engineering Society, 37(10), p. 2003-2017, 2009.
  • O. Loh, R. Lam, D. Ho, E. Espinosa, “Nanofountain Probe-Based High Resolution Patterning and Single Cell Injection of Functionalized Nanodiamonds,” Small, 5(14), 1667-1674, 2009. Selected as Cover Article
  • M. Chen, E. Pierstorff, R. Lam, E. Osawa, and D. Ho “Nanodiamond-Mediated Delivery of Water-Insoluble Therapeutics,” ACS Nano, 3, 2016-2022, 2009.
  • R. Lam and D. Ho “Nanodiamonds as Vehicles for Systemic and Localized Drug Delivery”,Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery, 6, 883-895, 2009.
  • E. Chow, E. Pierstorff, G. Cheng, and D. Ho “Nanofilm copolymer platform for controlled drug delivery”, ACS Nano, 2, 33-40, 2008. Cover Article
  • R. Lam, M. Chen, E. Pierstorff, H. Huang, E. Osawa, and D. Ho, “Microfilm Embedded Microfilm Devices for Localized Chemotherapeutic Elution, ACS Nano, 2, 2095-2102, 2008. Featured in Reuters, CNBC, MSNBC, Yahoo News, Scientific American, and over 100 international news outlets.
  • H. Huang, E. Pierstorff, and D. Ho “Protein-Mediated Assembly of Nanodiamond Hydrogels into a Biocompatible and Biofunctional Multilayer Nanofilm. ACS Nano. 2008;2, 203-212.
  • H. Huang, E. Pierstorff, E. Osawa, and D. Ho “Active Nanodiamond Hydrogels for Chemotherapeutic Delivery”, 7, 3305-3314, Nano Letters, 2007.Received press coverage on CNN.COM (HOMEPAGE), United Press International (UPI.com), Popular Science.com, Yahoo affiliate, Reuters.com, Cancer Research UK,NSTI, and over 100 other news outlets.



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