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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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About Me

Research Interests

Dr. Ho has a total of 202 peer-reviewed publications, of which he has served as the 1st and senior author of 164 (39 in the last 5 years), >5300 citations, average citations/paper 30 and an h-index of 44. Research interests include:

  • Innate immunity and viral infections
  • Non-immune cell-mediated antiviral innate immunity
  • Impact of drugs of abuse on host innate immunity against HIV infection of the CNS


Dr. Ho and the department of pathology study 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).

2. To study whether drugs (opioids and methamphetamine) of abuse impair the host cell innate immunity and facilitate HIV infection.

3. To use newly developed iPSC-derived CNS cells and brain organoid to determine the role of abused drugs in HIV infection of primary target/reservoir cells in the CNS.

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