In This Section

Wenzhe Ho, MD, MPH

Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Professor, Center for Substance Abuse Research
Professor, Microbiology, Immunology and Inflammation

Wenzhe Ho
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Contact Information




About Me

Research Interests

  • Innate immunity and viral infections (HIV and HCV)
  • Non-immune cell-mediated antiviral innate immunity
  • Impact of drugs of abuse on host innate immunity against HIV


The Ho Laboratory studies factors that impact the interplays between the host cell innate immunity and viral infections, particularly HIV. The Lab uses in vitro, ex vivo models and clinical specimens to address three key questions: A. How does HIV infect and stay in the macrophages that possess multiple viral recognition and control mechanisms? B. Are non-immune cells at the primary HIV infection sites involved in the host innate immunity against HIV? C. Are drugs of abuse a negative factor that suppresses the host cell innate immunity against HIV infection? The current research in the Ho Lab focuses on the following areas: 

1. To examine the immune and non-immune cells-mediated innate immunity (TLRs, RIG-I- and DNA sensors) that recognize and control HIV infection/replication. The cells under examination include the immune cells (T cells, monocytes/macrophages, and microglia) and non-immune cells in the CNS (neurons and astrocytes), gastrointestinal and female reproductive tracks (endothelial cells and epithelial cells). The lab was among the firsts to demonstrate that the non-immune cells express functional viral recognition TLRs, activation of which induces the production of IFNs and the multiple cellular HIV restriction factors (miRNAs, ISGs and CC chemokines) in primary human macrophages;

2. To study whether the environment factors such as drugs (opioids and methamphetamine) of abuse impair the host cell innate immunity and facilitate HIV infection. The lab has documented that the drugs such as heroin, morphine and methamphetamine compromise the antiviral immunity and enhance HIV infection/ replication.

Education, Training & Credentials

Educational Background

  • MPH, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 2006
  • Fellowship, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 1988
  • Residency, First Teaching Hospital, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, China, 1986
  • MD, Pediatrics, Wuhan University School of Medicine, Wuhan, China, 1983
  • BS, Medicine, Hubei Medical College, Wuhan, China, 1978


  • Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology
  • International Society for NeuroVirology
  • American Society for Virology

Honors & Awards

  • Senior Research Excellence Award, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, 2012

Digital Bibliography

View PubMed Publications