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The Ho lab

The Ho Lab currently has two postdocs, two Yale Micro PhD students, one postgrad researcher, and one Yale MPH master's student. working on the following areas:
*Jimmy - HIV-to-host RNA aberrant transcription; HIV-suppressing agents; transcriptome analysis; single-cell methods
*Runxia - Impact of antigen stimulation on HIV-1 persistence using a single-cell approach
*Jack - 3D chromatin structure; single-cell multi-omics approaches and machine learning methods on HIV persistence
*Kristen - HIV-induced immune dysfunction using spatial transcriptomics approach
*Savannah - Identification of HIV suppressing cellular factors using CRISPR screen; impact of opioid use on HIV persistence
*Allie - Impact of opioid use on HIV persistence
*Kerui - Cellular factors affecting HIV-1 expression

Principal Investigator

Ya-Chi Ho, M.D., Ph.D.

Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Microbial Pathogenesis and Medicine (Infectious Diseases)
Faculty, Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)
Lois E. and Franklin H. Top, Jr. Yale Scholar, 2017-2021

MD, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan (Phi Tau Phi)
MS, Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Phi Beta Kappa)

Resident, Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University Hospital
Clinical fellow, Infectious Diseases, National Taiwan University Hospital
Attending physician, Infectious Diseases, National Taiwan University Hospital, Yun-Lin Branch
Instructor in Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
Assistant Professor in Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

ya-chi.ho@yale.edu
https://twitter.com/HoLabHIV

Dr. Ho's career goal is to use basic science tools to solve clinically significant problems. Her research goal is to find a cure for HIV. Dr. Ho started her scientific career at the age of 10 when she was awarded the first prize of a national scientific exhibition competition as a 6th grader. She optimized a protocol to make recycled paper using a washing machine and a blender. After completing the 6-year elementary school in 5 years and the 3-year middle school in 2 years, she entered high school at the age of 13 and did her first restriction digestion experiment in a talented youth program in biology at Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She entered a college-medical school combined program at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan at 16. Deeply attracted to microbiology, she worked on the pathogenesis of Vibrio vulnificus under the Schering-Plough summer research grant. She developed strong interests in internal medicine during her clinical clerkship rotations at Yale-New Haven Hospital (2000) and Duke University Medical Center (2001). She graduated from medical school with Phi Tau Phi and Dean's award. As a first year internal medicine resident, she was among the first group of physicians who took care of SARS-infected patients at National Taiwan University Hospital. She realized that the key to curing infectious diseases is to understand the pathogen better. She completed a master's degree in clinical medicine at National Taiwan University (supported by a NHRI scholarship) during her two years of infectious disease fellowship and one year of clinical practice as an infectious disease attending physician, when she conducted clinical studies in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and influenza. She pursued rigorous basic science training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as a PhD student at Dr. Robert Siliciano's laboratory under scholarships from the Ministry of Education, Taiwan and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowship. She developed the full-length HIV proviral sequencing method and found that HIV reactivation is stochastic. She graduated with straight A in her courses, Phi Beta Kappa and the Michael Shanoff Young Investigator's Award in September 2013. After one year of postdoc, she worked at Johns Hopkins University as a faculty since January 2014, supported by a NIH R21 grant, a WW Smith AIDS Research Award, a Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research Award, and a Gilead HIV research grant. She relocated to Yale University in 2017 to explore HIV silencing and HIV RNA biology in the HIV cure research. When she has free time, she enjoys her second childhood with her two daughters and the family. Her personal interests include traveling and enjoying classical music concerts.

Postdoctoral fellows

Yang-Hui (Jimmy) Yeh, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
BS, Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
MS, Genetics, University of Connecticut
PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut
Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Surgery, Yale University

yang-hui.yeh@yale.edu

2018/9/17 Jimmy received BEAT-HIV Delaney Collaboratory Travel Award for NIH Strategies for an HIV Cure Meeting
2019/11/4 Jimmy received CROI New Investigator Award

Publications in the Ho Lab:
Co-first author, Science Translational Medicine 2020 (original)
First author, Journal of Clinical Investigation 2020 (original)

Driven by scientific curiosity, Jimmy is committed to an academic career using molecular biology approaches to solve clinically significant problems. Jimmy received his B.S. in Public Health with research focus on single nucleotide polymorphisms in molecular cancer epidemiology. He received his M.S. in Genetics and Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut, working on the mechanisms of human IGF-I Eb-domain peptide (hEb)-mediated killing of metastatic cancer cells (Experimental Cell Research, 2017). He received his postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine working on the pathogenesis of a viral sequence Sphinx (Slow progressive hidden infections of X origin) as a plausible cause of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE)(PNAS, 2017).

Jimmy joined the Ho lab in November 2017. Using his expertise in molecular biology, viral pathogenesis, cancer biology and cell biology, he studies mechanisms and develops strategies to permanently and irreversibly silence HIV-1. With specific interests in host-HIV-1 interactions, he uses a combination of translational and bioinformatics approach to examine the transcriptional landscape of the HIV-1-infected cells.


Runxia Liu, PhD

Postdoctoral Associate
BS, Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Agricultural University, China
MS, Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
PhD, Biology and Microbiology, South Dakota State University

runxia.liu@yale.edu

2018/9/17 Runxia received BEAT-HIV Delaney Collaboratory Travel Award for NIH Strategies for an HIV Cure Meeting
2019/9/13 Runxia received Best Poster Award at the Yale Micro Retreat 2019
2020/7/29 Postdoc Runxia Liu received 2020 Immune Profiling Award from 10x Genomics

Publications in the Ho Lab:
Co-first author, Science Translational Medicine 2020 (original)
First author, Virology Journal 2020 (review)
Co-first author, Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS (review)

Runxia joined the Ho lab as a postdoctoral associate in January 2018. With her expertise in molecular biology, virology and next generation sequencing analysis, she works on the mechanisms of HIV-1-driven aberrant proliferation and HIV-1-cancer gene interactions.She aims to develop an effective HIV-1 eradication strategy targeting the latent reservoir. Runxia received her B.S and M.S. in Veterinary Medicine with research focus on cellular tropism of chimeric Arterivirus and structural function of a novel protein VP5a. She subsequently obtained her PhD in Microbiology from South Dakota State University, where her dissertation research elucidated the role of viral defective interfering RNA genomes in Influenza viruses by using a deep RNA sequencing approach.


PhD students


Jack Collora, B.S.

PhD candidate, Microbiology track, Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)
BS, Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, UCLA
Gruber fellow

jack.collora@yale.edu

Publications in the Ho Lab:
Co-author, Science Translational Medicine 2020 (original)
Co-first author, Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS, 2020 (review)
First author, bioRxiv 2021 (original)

Jack Collora is a graduate student who joined the Ho lab in March of 2018. His work is focused on identifying host factors associated with HIV-1 latency. Jack is originally from Southern California and obtained a B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Biomedical Research as the University of California – Los Angeles. He previously completed undergraduate thesis work in the laboratory of Donald Kohn developing lentiviral vectors for gene therapy of sickle cell anemia. Outside of the lab Jack enjoys teaching children about viruses, drinking coffee in various locations, and reading.

2018/9/17 Jimmy received BEAT-HIV Delaney Collaboratory Travel Award for NIH Strategies for an HIV Cure Meeting
2019/4/9 Jack received Honorable Mention for his NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP)
2019/11/4 Jack received CROI New Investigator Award
2021/1/15 Jack received CROI New Investigator Award

Kristen Albrecht, B.A.

PhD student, Microbiology track, Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)
BA, Molecular Biology, Princeton University

kristen.albrecht@yale.edu

Publications in the Ho Lab:
Co-author, Science Translational Medicine 2020 (original)
Co-first author, Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS (review)

Kristen joined the Ho lab as a graduate student in May 2019. Originally from Crawfordsville, Indiana, she received a bachelor of arts degree from Princeton University in Molecular Biology with a certificate in Global Health and Policy. For her undergraduate senior thesis work in the laboratory of Lynn Enquist, she tracked and compared the spread of virulent and attenuated pseudorabies virus (PRV) strains in a mouse model. She is working on mechanisms of HIV-1 persistence using CRISPR-dCas9-mediated HIV-1 activation and repression. Outside of the lab, Kristen enjoys long-distance running, watching many sports, being a coxswain for Yale Grad Crew, and reading.

Postgraduate researcher

Savannah Pedersen, B.S.

BS, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University

savannah.pedersen@yale.edu

Publications in the Ho Lab:
First author, Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2020 (commentary)
Savannah was an undergraduate student who joined the Ho lab in July of 2018. For her senior thesis, she is working on developing a new strategy to immortalize primary CD4+ T cells to study mechanisms of HIV-1 persistence. She continued as a postgraduate researcher in the lab, working on a CRISPR-screen to identify HIV suppressing cellular factors and how opioid use affects HIV persistence. Savannah has moved eight times and most recently settled in Westchester, New York before arriving at Yale. When she is not in the lab she enjoys volunteering for Crisis Text Line and Hypertension Awareness & Prevention Program, helping transfer students as a Head Transfer Counselor, and avidly cheering on the Seattle Seahawks.

2020/3/27 Savannah published a Commentary at Journal of Clinical Investigations entitled "SARS-CoV-2: A a storm is Raging"

Master's student

Allison Catalano, B.S.

BS, Nursing, Georgetown University
Master of Public Health student, Epidemiology of Microbial Disease

allison.orndahl@yale.edu

Allie joined the Ho lab as a MPH student in January of 2021 to work on HIV persistence using clinical samples. She is pursuing an MPH in Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. She is originally from New Jersey and received a bachelor of science in Nursing from Georgetown University in 2017. After graduation she worked as a clinical research nurse at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD and currently works as an Infection Control Practitioner near Newark, NJ. She developed an interest in HIV while working as nurse in Swaziland, which has the highest prevalence of HIV in the world. She is interested in basic science and translational research. Outside of the lab, Allie enjoys surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, distance running, rock climbing, and music.

Undergrad students

Kerui Yang

Prospective Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health double major, Yale University

kerui.yang@yale.edu

Kerui is a first-year undergraduate student who joined the Ho lab in January of 2021. She is a prospective Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health double major. She is excited to get started on her project to test if the knockdown of certain cellular factors could reverse HIV latency. Outside of the lab, Kerui is involved with the YSM, YDN, HEAR, Yale Haven Free Clinic, and Movement. She also likes to take long hikes on nature trails, bake a ton of desserts, and paint.

Alumni


Samana Zaidi, B.S.

Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences, Minor: Molecular Cell Biology and Health Care Management, University of Connecticut
Postgrad in the Ho Lab, 2018/12-2019/6
Current position (2019): medical student, NYIT medical school


Darla photo

Darla Quijada, B.S.

BS, University of Vermont
Major: Animal and Veterinary Sciences; Minors: Chemistry and Statistics
Yale NIH-PREP Program, 2019/6-2020/5
Honorable mention, NSF GRFP
Current position (2020): Cellular and Molecular Medicine PhD Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine




Ryan Yucha, B.S., M.P.H.

Master of Public Health Candidate, Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale University School of Public Health
Bachelor of Science, Microbiology, French, History of Medicine minor, University of Michigan
Master's student in the Ho Lab: 2018/9-2019/5
Current position (2019): PhD student, Microbiology Program, University of Washington, Seattle