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.
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