is a renowned AIDS researcher who has made groundbreaking contributions to the understanding and treatment of HIV infection. He is the founding scientific director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and a professor of medicine at Columbia University.
Ho was born in Taiwan in 1952 and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 12 years old. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in biology and from Harvard Medical School with a medical degree. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at UCLA and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Ho became interested in AIDS research in the early 1980s, when he encountered some of the first cases of the mysterious disease that was later identified as AIDS. He began to study the virology and pathogenesis of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and discovered how HIV replicates and mutates rapidly in the body, making it difficult to treat with single drugs.
In the mid-1990s, Ho and his colleagues developed the concept of combination antiretroviral therapy, which involves using a cocktail of drugs that target different stages of the HIV life cycle. This approach dramatically reduced the viral load and improved the survival and quality of life of people living with HIV. Ho’s work transformed AIDS from a fatal disease into a manageable chronic condition.
Ho has received numerous awards and honors for his scientific achievements, including the Time Magazine Person of the Year in 1996, the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2001, and the National Medal of Science in 2000. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Ho continues to conduct research on HIV/AIDS, as well as other emerging infectious diseases such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. He is also involved in global health initiatives to improve access to HIV prevention and treatment in developing countries.