It’s impossible to champion just one person across the legions of Asians working as First Responders–from nurses to ICU doctors to food delivery workers to Congresspeople. Among the many, Dr. David D. Ho is one who gives us hope. Dr. Ho. is the founding Scientific Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, as well as the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has been at the forefront of AIDS research since the beginning of the epidemic.
His elegant studies in the mid 1990’s unveiled the dynamic nature of HIV replication in vivo and revolutionized our basic understanding of this horrific disease. This knowledge led Dr. Ho to champion combination antiretroviral therapy that resulted in unprecedented control of HIV in patients since 1996. AIDS mortality in richer nations has declined dramatically, and a massive international effort is now underway to bring such life- saving treatment to millions in the developing world. To date over 10 million patients have benefitted from combination antiretroviral therapy. Dr. Ho has been a major driving force behind this major medical breakthrough in what is arguably the worst plague in human history.
For his accomplishments, Dr. Ho has been recognized in multiple ways, including fourteen honorary doctorates and election to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences). He was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1996, and was the recipient of a Presidential Medal from Bill Clinton in 2001.