Cheng-Ying NA Ho, M.D., Ph.D., M.Phil.

Headshot of Cheng-Ying NA Ho
  • Associate Professor of Pathology

Languages: English, Chinese, Taiwanese


Dr. Cheng-Ying Ho is an Associate Professor of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her areas of clinical expertise include neuromuscular pathology, pediatric neuropathology, and neuropathology of infectious diseases. Dr. Ho serves as the Deputy Director for the Neuropathology Fellowship Program.

Dr. Ho received her medical degree from National Taiwan University and her Ph.D. in Pathobiology from Columbia University. She completed Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology combined residency and fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Ho joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2022. 

Dr. Ho’s research interests include the pathogenesis and treatment of sensory neuropathy, with a focus on the impact of the skin microenvironment on the development of diabetic neuropathy. Her laboratory uses diverse approaches to study the role of skin-derived signaling molecules in the maintenance of the cutaneous sensory nerve fibers. Her research also involves development of novel therapeutics for diabetic neuropathy. more


  • Associate Professor of Pathology
  • Associate Professor of Medicine

Departments / Divisions



  • MD; National Taiwan University School of Medicine (2003)


  • Pathology; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2013)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Pathology (Anatomic Pathology) (2013)
  • American Board of Pathology (Neuropathology) (2013)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Ho’s laboratory studies the pathogenesis and treatment of diabetic neuropathy, with a particular focus on the impact of the skin microenvironment. Previous research in diabetic neuropathy has largely focused on sensory neurons. Few studies have explored how skin changes caused by diabetes may accelerate the damage of the sensory nerve fibers, which are embedded in the skin. Skin and cutaneous sensory nerves form the neuro-immuno-endocrine circuitry, the disruption of which may underlie the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy. Dr. Ho’s research focuses on the role of skin-derived molecules such as neurotrophic factors and inflammatory cytokines in the maintenance of the cutaneous sensory nerve fibers and in the development of neuropathic pain. Her laboratory also develops novel therapeutics for diabetic neuropathy.

Another interest of the laboratory is olfactory dysfunction associated with COVID-19 infection. The research investigation focuses on the injuries in the olfactory bulb, a brain region that receives and relays information regarding scents.

Selected Publications

Kuehn ED, Meltzer S, Abraira VE, Ho C, Ginty DD. Tiling and Somatotopic Alignment of Mammalian Low-Threshold Mechanoreceptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019; 116: 9168-9177. PMID: 30996124

Ho C, Ames HM, Tipton A, Vezina G, Liu JS, Scafidi J, Torii M, Rodriguez FJ, du Plessis A, DeBiasi RL. Differential neuronal susceptibility and apoptosis in congenital Zika virus infection. Ann Neurol 2017; 82: 121-127. PMID: 28556287

Driggers RW*, Ho C*, Korhonen EM*, Kuivanen S*, Jaaskalainen AJ, Smura T, Rosenberg A, Hill DA, DeBiasi DL, Vezina G, Timofeev J, Rodriguez FJ, Levanov L, Razak J, Iyengar P, Hennenfent A, Kennedy R, Lanciotti R, du Plessis A, Vapalahti O. Zika virus infection with prolonged maternal viremia and fetal brain abnormalities. N Eng J Med 2016; 374: 2142-2151 PMID: 27028667 (* equal contribution)

Rutlin M*, Ho C*, Abraira VE*, Cassidy C, Woodbury CJ, Ginty DD. The cellular and molecular basis of direction selectivity of Aδ-LTMRs. Cell 2014; 159:1640-1651. PMID: 25525881 (* equal contribution)

Ho C, Salimian M, Hegert J, O’Brien J, Choi SG, Ames H, Morris M, Papadimitriou JC, Mininni J, Niehaus P, Burke A, Canbeldek L, Jacobs J, LaRocque A, Patel K, Rice K, Li L, Johnson R, LeFevre A, Blanchard T, Shaver CM, Moyer A, Drachenberg C. Postmortem assessment of olfactory tissue degeneration and microvasculopathy in patients with COVID-19. JAMA Neurol. 2022; 79:544-553. PMID: 35404378

Activities & Honors


  • Congressional Citation for outstanding and timeless efforts to find cures for childhood brain tumors
  • The Maryland General Assembly Official Citation for exceptional research in striving to find a cure for childhood brain tumors and care for children with brain tumors
  • Passano Foundation Clinician-Investigator Career Development Award
  • National Institutes of Health Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08)
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation Young Physician-Scientist Award
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