Dean Ho, Ph.D. (Director, Project NDX)

Dr. Ho received his Ph.D. from UCLA in Biomedical Engineering in 2005, and began his academic career in 2006 as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. He was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2010. He joined the UCLA faculty in 2012 as a Professor of Bioengineering, and Oral Biology and Medicine at UCLA. He is also the Co-Director of the Jane and Jerry Weintraub Center for Reconstructive Biotechnology. 

Dr. Ho pioneered the development of nanodiamond-based drug delivery and leads one of the pre-eminent teams in the world in the field. Recently, Dr. Ho initiated a landmark clinical trial to validate a nanodiamond-based biomaterial to enhance root canal therapy (NCT02698163). A progress report of this trial was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and highlighted in the NIH Director's blog.

Dr. Ho has also led multiple clinical trials in the area of Augmented Artificial Intelligence (AI) for personalized and precision medicine and indications ranging from oncology to transplant immunosuppression. His team has also developed mobile/digital health technologies to optimize clinical combination therapy. 

Dr. Ho's technical achievements have been featured on CNN, The Economist, Washington Post, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, and hundreds of international news outlets. He was recently the President of the Board of Directors of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), a 26,000+ member organization at the interface of the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries and academia focused on drug development, screening, and diagnostics. He is a recipient of the V Foundation for Cancer Research Scholar Award (Phase I and II), NSF CAREER Award, and Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award, and was named the Distinguished Young Alumnus of the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science, among others. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), which recognizes the top 2% of bioengineers in the field, and the Society for Laboratory Automation (SLAS). Dr. Ho was recently named a Fulbright Scholar. 


Edward Chow, Ph.D. (Director, Cancer Biology)

Dr. Chow received his Ph.D. at UCLA in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics and his was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at the G.W. Hooper Medical Research Foundation/UCSF under the mentorship of Prof. J. Michael Bishop (Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology). He is currently a Principal Investigator at the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore and Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Dr. Chow's research achievements involve the development of novel nanocarbon-based drug delivery and imaging vehicles for cancer stem cell tracking and therapeutics. He also maintains a major research program in cancer biology and bioengineering. His work has been featured in a number of major news outlets including the Chicago Tribune, NPR, and Science and Nature News. Prior to his career at NUS, Dr. Chow worked for Berlex and Genentech.

Ali Zarrinpar, M.D., Ph.D. (Director, Clinical Affairs)

Dr. Zarrinpar received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of California, San Francisco. He completed his residency in General Surgery and Fellowship in Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery at UCLA. He is an Associate Professor of Transplantation Surgery at the University of Florida. He was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation, and the Dumont-UCLA Liver Transplant and Cancer Center. He was also a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has led numerous clinical trials pertaining to liver transplantation as well as the assessment of novel therapies for patients with liver disease and liver cancer. 

Eiji Osawa, Ph.D. (Director, Chemistry and Materials Science)

Dr. Osawa is an internationally-renowned chemist and pioneer in the nanocarbon field. He is widely recognized as among the first to theoretically predict the structure of C60. He has made major contributions towards the understanding of nanodiamond synthesis, structure, surface chemistry, and processing techniques, all of which have played a key role towards their applications in energy, diagnostics, therapeutics, and other areas. He was previously a Professor at Toyohashi University and is currently the President of the Nanocarbon Research Institute at Shinshu University. He is a recipient of the Chunichi Culture Prize. In addition, The Osawa Prize was established in honor of his seminal contributions to the nanocarbon field.

Current Team Members

Dr. Dong-Keun Lee, UCLA

Theodore Kee, UCLA

Desiree Hsiou, UCLA

Darron Miya, UCLA

Michael Trieu, UCLA

Brian Wu, UCLA

Peter Wang, UCLA

Dr. Laura Moore, Northwestern and UCSF

Masturah Bte Mohd Abdul Rashid, NUS

Nurrul Lissa Binti Abdullah, NUS

Tan Boon Toh, NUS

Xin Wang, NUS


Dr. Houjin Huang

Dr. Erik Pierstorff

Dr. Xue-Qing Zhang

Dr. Robert Lam

Dr. Sue Vin Kim

Dr. A. Nerisa Limansubroto

Prof. Ho-Joong Kim

Dr. Kangyi Zhang

Mark Chen

Albert Yen

Erik Robinson

Rafael Shimkunas

Han Man

...and countless other team members that made this journey possible.

Partnering Organizations

mAssKickers Foundation

Cancer Science Institute of Singapore

National University Health System

National University Cancer Institute


Funding to the teams of Dr. Ho and Dr. Chow:

The V Foundation for Cancer Research

National Cancer Institute

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/National Institutes of Health

National Science Foundation

American Chemical Society

Wallace H. Coulter Foundation

Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences

American Academy of Implant Dentistry Foundation (AAID/AAIDF)

National Medical Research Council, Singapore

National Research Foundation, Singapore