School of Pharmacy

Rodney JY Ho

Professor; Exec. Dir.—WE-REACH*; Dir.—TLC- ART†; Affiliate Member of Fred Hutch; Affiliate Faculty, CFAR^; Member of ITHS‡

Department of Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutics Faculty, School Faculty

Telephone: (206) 543-9434

Email: rodneyho@uw.edu

Accepting Students to Lab: Yes

Websites

TLC-ART Program

WE-REACH Center

Education

  • PhD, University of Tennessee
  • Bachelor of Science, University of California
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Stanford University Internal Medicine

Research Interests

Dr. Ho is known for bio-nanotechnology bio-pharmaceutical research and education that enable transformation of basic biomedical discovery into therapeutics. In addition to innovations in targeted and drug combination synchronous delivery, his research focuses on biology and comprehensive approach to treatments of cancer and infectious diseases of pandemic potential. Some topics include (1) Systems approach to drug combination delivery, transport to target tissues and cells related to disease state intended to improve efficacy and safety; (2) Targeted and Long-acting Combination Anti-Retroviral Therapies and organized TLC-ART program intended for maximizing therapeutic impacts on adults and children (3) Drug and lipid or biomaterial interaction studies that enable the engineering and development of long acting and targeted systems that enhance drug potency and safety.

Biography

Dr. Ho is a professor and presidential entrepreneurial fellow of the University of Washington, and holds appointments at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Professor Ho is the founding Executive Director of the Washington Entrepreneurial Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (WE-REACH, a NIH designated National Hub). He has served in a number of leadership roles including Assoc Dean for Research and New Initiatives. His current TLC-ART program, built on a collaborative basic and translational research team composed of scientists, physicians, students and post-doc, focuses on developing targeted, drug-combination and long-acting therapeutics for HIV/AIDS and cancer.  Ho is a distinguished leader in pharmaceutical sciences and systems pharmacology with a proven track record of innovation in long-acting and targeted drug combination therapies for AIDS and Cancer. He serves on a number of national and international initiatives relating to Cancer and HIV therapeutics including LEAP leadership team to facilitate development of long-acting therapies for NIH and WHO’s Unitaid. He is an expert on pharmacology and systems approaches to drug targeting and long-acting therapy. His research aims to improve the therapeutic efficacy and safety of viral and cancer drugs, medical diagnostic agents and vaccines. He is an elected member of National Academy of Innovators, elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). He studies the relationships between drug target distribution and disease development in cancer, AIDS, and neurological disorders. Building on this understanding, he has developed a systems approach to drug delivery and targeting. He is known for his expertise in bio-therapeutics, lipid-drug and -protein interactions, liposomes, drug-combination nanoparticles, pharmacokinetics, and the interplay between tissue targets and drug penetration. His research has led to enhanced HIV, cancer, and pain medication potency and safety. In addition, he has served as an editor of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the author of “Biotechnology and Biopharmaceuticals: Transforming Proteins and Genes into Drugs.” He has also received top honors including the Paul Dawson Biotechnology life-time achievement award, Volwiler life-time research achievement award and the AAPS Biotechnology Research achievement, one of the AAPS’s highest recognitions.

Selected Publications

PubMed link

Ho RJY. “Warp-Speed Covid-19 Vaccine Development: Beneficiaries of Maturation in Biopharmaceutical Technologies and Public-Private Partnerships. J Pharm Sci. 2021, 110(2):615-618. PMID: 33212162

Bak A, Ho RJY. “Advancing Cell and Gene Therapeutic Products for Health Impact – Progress on Pharmaceutical Research, Development, Manufacturing and Controls.” J Pharm Sci. 2021, 110(5):1869-1870. PMID: 33189694. 

Perazzolo S, Zhu L, Lin W, Nguyen A, Ho RJY. “Systems and Clinical Pharmacology of COVID-19 Therapeutic Candidates: A Clinical and Translational Medicine Perspective.” J Pharm Sci. 2021, 110:1002-1017. PMID: 33248057

Ho RJY, Gibaldi M. “Biotechnology and Biopharmaceuticals: Transforming proteins and genes into drugs,” John Wiley and Sons, N.Y., 2nd edition 2013.

Gao Y, Kraft JC, Yu D, Ho RJY. “Recent developments of nanotherapeutics for targeted and long-acting, combination HIV chemotherapy.” Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2019 May;138:75-91. PMID: 29678735.

Mu Q, Yu J, McConnachie LA, Kraft JC, Gao Y, Gulati GK, Ho RJY. “Translation of combination nanodrugs into nanomedicines: lessons learned and future outlook.” J Drug Target. 2018 Jun-Jul;26(5-6):435-447. PMID: 29285948.

Perazzolo S, Shen DD, Ho RJY. Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling of 3 HIV Drugs in Combination and the Role of Lymphatic System after Subcutaneous Dosing. Part 2: Model for the Drug-combination Nanoparticles.

J Pharm Sci. 2022, 111(3):825-837. PMID: 34673094

Bak A, Friis KP, Wu Y, Ho RJY. “Translating Cell and Gene Biopharmaceutical Products for Health and Market Impact. Product Scaling From Clinical to Marketplace: Lessons Learned and Future Outlook.” J Pharm Sci. 2019 Oct;108(10):3169-3175. PMID: 31150697.

Kraft JC, McConnachie LA, Koehn J, Kinman L, Sun J, Collier AC, Collins C, Shen DD, Ho RJY. “Mechanism-based pharmacokinetic (MBPK) models describe the complex plasma kinetics of three antiretrovirals delivered by a long-acting anti-HIV drug combination nanoparticle formulation.” J Control Release. 2018 Apr 10;275:229-241. PMID: 29432823.

Kraft JC, McConnachie LA, Koehn J, Kinman L, Collins C, Shen DD, Collier AC, Ho RJY. “Long-acting combination anti-HIV drug suspension enhances and sustains higher drug levels in lymph node cells than in blood cells and plasma.” AIDS. 2017 Mar 27;31(6):765-770. PMID: 28099191.

Mu Q, Yu J, Griffin JI, Wu Y, Zhu L, McConnachie LA, Ho RJY. “Novel drug combination nanoparticles exhibit enhanced plasma exposure and dose-responsive effects on eliminating breast cancer lung metastasis.” PLoS One. 2020 Mar 6;15(3):e0228557. PMID: 32142553

Selen A, Müllertz A, Kesisoglou F, Ho RJY, Cook JA, Dickinson PA, Flanagan T.“Integrated Multi-stakeholder Systems Thinking Strategy: Decision-making with Biopharmaceutics Risk Assessment Roadmap (BioRAM) to Optimize Clinical Performance of Drug Products.” AAPS J. 2020 Jul 27;22(5):97. PMID: 32719954

Ho RJY. “Midyear Commentary on Trends in Drug Delivery and Clinical Translational Medicine: Growth in Biosimilar (Complex Injectable Drug Formulation) Products Within Evolving Collaborative Regulatory Interagency (FDA, FTC, and DOJ) Practices and Enforcement.” J Pharm Sci. 2017 Feb;106(2):471-476.

Kraft JC, Treuting PM, Ho RJY. “Indocyanine green nanoparticles undergo selective lymphatic uptake, distribution and retention and enable detailed mapping of lymph vessels, nodes and abnormalities.” J Drug Targeting. 2018 Jun-Jul;26(5-6):494-504. PMID: 29388438.

Perazzolo S, Shireman LM, Koehn J, McConnachie LA, Kraft JC, Shen DD, Ho RJY. “Three HIV Drugs, Atazanavir, Ritonavir, and Tenofovir, Coformulated in Drug-Combination Nanoparticles Exhibit Long-Acting and Lymphocyte-Targeting Properties in Nonhuman Primates.” J Pharm Sci. 2018 Dec;107(12):3153-3162. PMID: 30121315.

Koehn J, Iwamoto JF, Kraft JC, McConnachie LA, Collier AC, Ho RJY. “Extended cell and plasma drug levels after one dose of a three-in-one nanosuspension containing lopinavir, efavirenz, and tenofovir in nonhuman primates.” AIDS. 2018 Nov 13;32(17):2463-2467. PMID:30102655.

McConnachie LA, Kinman LM, Koehn J, Kraft JC, Lane S, Lee W, Collier AC, Ho RJY. “Long-Acting Profile of 4 Drugs in 1 Anti-HIV Nanosuspension in Nonhuman Primates for 5 Weeks After a Single Subcutaneous Injection.” J Pharm Sci. 2018 Jul;107(7):1787-1790. PMID: 29548975.

Kraft JC, McConnachie LA, Koehn J, Kinman L, Collins C, Shen DD, Collier AC, Ho RJY. “Long-acting combination anti-HIV drug suspension enhances and sustains higher drug levels in lymph node cells than in blood cells and plasma”. AIDS. 2017 Mar 27;31(6):765-770.

Kraft JC, Freeling JP, Wang Z, Ho RJY. “Emerging research and clinical development trends of liposome and lipid nanoparticle drug delivery systems.” J Pharm Sci 103:29-52. 2014.

Freeling JP, Koehn J, Shu J, Sun J, Ho RJY. “Long-Acting Three-Drug Combination Anti-HIV Nanoparticles Enhance Drug Exposure in Primate Plasma and Cells within Lymph Nodes and Blood.” AIDS 28: 2625-2631, 2015 (highlighted by an accompanying editorial commentary in AIDS).