Research in the laboratory of Ritchie Ho, PhD, aims to develop faithful models of late-onset diseases using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and in vivo animal models by understanding and recapitulating how genetic and environmental conditions causing disease in older adults interact with intrinsic cellular aging pathways. Currently, no iPSC-differentiated tissues mature past the fetal state, limiting their capacity to recapitulate decade's worth of in vivo pathological events leading to diseases in adults. This is a major challenge facing personalized and regenerative medicine. Prior work in the Ho Laboratory has explored how signaling and epigenetic factors regulate the transition between pluripotent, fetal and adult cellular states in both forward development and in reprogramming. Ho’s recent work has demonstrated that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a late-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by the death of motor neurons, preferentially disrupts neuronal maturation and aging gene expression networks, thereby expounding the latent nature of this devastating condition. The Ho Lab applies molecular, cell and computational biology to gauge the fidelity of iPSC and animal models to in vivo human tissue physiology. Faithful aging models will advance the development of predictive diagnostics and preventive therapies for individual patients predisposed to these diseases.
The Ho Laboratory is affiliated with the Cedars-Sinai Center for Neural Sciences and Medicine, Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Department of Neurology.
"All aspects of my previous scientific training and current research objectives have a direct relevance to the mission of my program. I have published research on embryonic spinal cord development, signaling and epigenetic mechanisms regulating stem cell and somatic cell identity and the relationship between cellular maturation, aging and late-onset diseases. My areas of technical expertise include molecular biology, stem cell reprogramming and differentiation, microscopy and a suite of computational biology methods to analyze large gene expression data sets as well as clinical data from patients. In addition to my research, I have actively contributed service in academic roles including didactic instruction, mentorship, engagements with industry, public outreach, technology transfer and peer review. Cedars-Sinai has a rich scientific environment that provides my laboratory the necessary resources for leading-edge translational research and training."
Ritchie Ho, PhD
- Mapping the Intersection of Tissue and Cell Type-Specific Signatures of Maturation and Aging to Neurodegeneration
- Delineate Gene Expression Networks Conserved or Diverged Across Human and Rodent Species
- Engineering Strategies That Can Accelerate Maturation, Aging and Late-Onset Disease Readouts in All Systems
Meet Our Team
Learn more about the scientists, faculty members, investigators and other healthcare professionals of the Ho Laboratory, whose dedicated efforts lead to groundbreaking discoveries.
Ho R, Sances S, Gowing G, Amoroso MW, O’Rourke JG, Sahabian A, Wichterle H, Baloh RH, Sareen D, Svendsen CN.
Nat Neurosci. 2016 Sep;19(9):1256-1267.
Laperle AH, Sances S, Yucer N, Dardov VJ, Garcia VJ, Ho R, Fulton A, Jones MR, Roxas K, Avalos P, West D, Banuelos MG, Shu Z, Murali R, Maidment NT, Van Eyk JE, Tagliati M, Svendsen CN.
Nat Med. 2020 Feb;26(2):289-299.
Sances S, Ho R, Vatine G, West D, Laperle A, Meyer A, Godoy M, Kay PS, Mandefro B, Hatata S, Hinojosa C, Wen N, Sareen D, Hamilton GA, Svendsen CN.
Stem Cell Reports. 2018 Apr 10;10(4):1222-1236.
Ho R, Papp B, Hoffman JA, Merrill BJ, Plath K.
Cell Rep. 2013 Jun 27;3(6):2113-2126.