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Dean Ho Receives Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award

Dean Ho, associate professor of biomedical and mechanical engineering at McCormick, has received the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Phase II Translational Research Award.

The Coulter Translational Research Awards program provides funding for professors in established biomedical engineering departments within the United States. The award seeks to support biomedical research that is translational in nature, and to encourage and assist eligible biomedical engineering investigators to establish themselves in academic careers involving translational research. The translational research projects are directed at promising technologies with the goal of progressing toward commercial development and entering clinical practice.

Ho is investigating the fabrication of nanodiamond-based technologies for drug delivery, glucocorticoid-functionalized materials as anti-inflammatory devices as post-operative treatment modalities, as well as localized and targeted chemotherapy using novel nanomaterial devices. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal and proceedings manuscripts in the areas of nanomedicine, drug delivery, and nanomaterials.

Ho previously received the foundation’s phase I award, which he used to develop a proof-of-concept for nanodiamond-based drug delivery. That included initial synthesis and characterization experiments, as well as progression into animal studies to validate the efficacy of proposed idea. The phase II award was given based on significant progress from the first award. Ho’s phase II project focuses on the development of nanodiamond particles for the treatment of cancer with a specific focus on breast cancer. He has developed a scalably synthesized nanodiamond-therapeutic hybrid that is capable of enhancing therapeutic efficacy while decreasing toxicity.

Ho is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, was a recent attendee at the 2010 National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Conference, and is a recipient of a V Foundation for Cancer Research V Scholars Award. Ho was also named a recipient of the John G. Bollinger Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.