California NanoSystems Institute
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Dean Ho, Ph.D.

Professor, Advanced Prosthodontics, Biomaterials and Hospital Dentistry, Dentistry
Co-Director, Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology
Member, California NanoSystems Institute

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, UCLA, 2005
M.S., Biomedical Engineering, UCLA, 2003
B.S., Physiological Sciences, UCLA, 2001

Honors and Awards:
Recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award
John G. Bollinger Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers
Invited attendee of the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award (Phase I and II)
The V Foundation for Cancer Research "V Scholars" Award
UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science, Distinguished Young Alumnus Award

Contact Information:
Work Email Address:
Mailing Address: UCLA School of Dentistry
10833 Le Conte Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Home Page:
Home Page:
Work Phone Number: (310) 794-9851
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 Ho’s 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.

Additional Information

Dr. Dean Ho 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.

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.

Selected Publications:

Mochalin Vadym N, Shenderova Olga, Ho Dean, Gogotsi Yury, The properties and applications of nanodiamonds, Nature nanotechnology, 2012, 7 (1), 11-23.
Zhang Xue-Qing, Lam Robert, Xu Xiaoyang, Chow Edward K, Kim Ho-Joong, Ho Dean, Multimodal nanodiamond drug delivery carriers for selective targeting, imaging, and enhanced chemotherapeutic efficacy, Advanced materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.), 2011, 23 (41), 4770-5.
Smith Adrienne H, Robinson Erik M, Zhang Xue-Qing, Chow Edward K, Lin Yang, Osawa Eiji, Xi Jianzhong, Ho Dean, Triggered release of therapeutic antibodies from nanodiamond complexes, Nanoscale, 2011, 3 (7), 2844-8.
Adnan Ashfaq, Lam Robert, Chen Hanning, Lee Jessica, Schaffer Daniel J, Barnard Amanda S, Schatz George C, Ho Dean, Liu Wing Kam, Atomistic simulation and measurement of pH dependent cancer therapeutic interactions with nanodiamond carrier, Molecular pharmaceutics, 2011, 8 (2), 368-74.
Chow Edward K, Zhang Xue-Qing, Chen Mark, Lam Robert, Robinson Erik, Huang Houjin, Schaffer Daniel, Osawa Eiji, Goga Andrei, Ho Dean, Nanodiamond therapeutic delivery agents mediate enhanced chemoresistant tumor treatment, Science translational medicine, 2011, 3 (73), 73ra21.
Wei Fang, Lam Robert, Cheng Stacy, Lu Steven, Ho Dean, Li Na, Rapid detection of melamine in whole milk mediated by unmodified gold nanoparticles, Applied physics letters, 2010, 96 (13), 133702.
Manus Lisa M, Mastarone Daniel J, Waters Emily A, Zhang Xue-Qing, Schultz-Sikma Elise A, Macrenaris Keith W, Ho Dean, Meade Thomas J, Gd(III)-nanodiamond conjugates for MRI contrast enhancement, Nano letters, 2010, 10 (2), 484-9.
Ho Dean, Beyond the sparkle: the impact of nanodiamonds as biolabeling and therapeutic agents, ACS nano, 2009, 3 (12), 3825-9.
Chen Mark, Huang Houjin, Pierstorff Erik, Shin Eric, Robinson Erik, Ho Dean, Parylene-encapsulated copolymeric membranes as localized and sustained drug delivery platforms, Annals of biomedical engineering, 2009, 37 (10), 2003-17.
Lam Robert, Ho Dean, Nanodiamonds as vehicles for systemic and localized drug delivery, Expert opinion on drug delivery, 2009, 6 (9), 883-95.
Zhang Xue-Qing, Chen Mark, Lam Robert, Xu Xiaoyang, Osawa Eiji, Ho Dean, Polymer-functionalized nanodiamond platforms as vehicles for gene delivery, ACS nano, 2009, 3 (9), 2609-16.
Loh Owen, Lam Robert, Chen Mark, Moldovan Nicolaie, Huang Houjin, Ho Dean, Espinosa Horacio D, Nanofountain-probe-based high-resolution patterning and single-cell injection of functionalized nanodiamonds, Small (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany), 2009, 5 (14), 1667-74.
Huang Houjin, Chen Mark, Bruno Paola, Lam Robert, Robinson Erik, Gruen Dieter, Ho Dean, Ultrananocrystalline diamond thin films functionalized with therapeutically active collagen networks, The journal of physical chemistry. B, 2009, 113 (10), 2966-71.
Pierstorff Erik, Lam Robert, Ho Dean, Nanoscale architectural tuning of parylene patch devices to control therapeutic release rates, Nanotechnology, 2008, 19 (44), 445104.
Lam Robert, Chen Mark, Pierstorff Erik, Huang Houjin, Osawa Eiji, Ho Dean, Nanodiamond-embedded microfilm devices for localized chemotherapeutic elution, ACS nano, 2008, 2 (10), 2095-102.
Robinson Erik M, Lam Robert, Pierstorff Erik D, Ho Dean, Localized therapeutic release via an amine-functionalized poly-p-xylene microfilm device, The journal of physical chemistry. B, 2008, 112 (37), 11451-5.
Huang Houjin, Pierstorff Erik, Osawa Eiji, Ho Dean, Protein-mediated assembly of nanodiamond hydrogels into a biocompatible and biofunctional multilayer nanofilm, ACS nano, 2008, 2 (2), 203-12.
Huang Houjin, Pierstorff Erik, Osawa Eiji, Ho Dean, Active nanodiamond hydrogels for chemotherapeutic delivery, Nano letters, 2007, 7 (11), 3305-14.
Pierstorff Erik, Ho Dean, Monitoring, diagnostic, and therapeutic technologies for nanoscale medicine, Journal of nanoscience and nanotechnology, 2007, 7 (9), 2949-68.