Shuk-Mei Ho, PhD

Director of the Cincinnati Cancer Center; Jacob G Schmidlapp Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine; Hayden Family Endowed Chair for Cancer Research; Director of the NIEHS-funded Center for Environmental Genetics; Director of the Genomics, Epigenomics and Sequencing Core, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine.

Shuk-Mei HoShuk-Mei Ho, PhD, Director of the Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC), is a renowned expert in the developmental origins of cancer susceptibility. Dr. Ho is internationally recognized for her pioneering discoveries into how hormones and endocrine disrupting chemicals, including Bisphenol A (BPA), can affect tumorigenesis in the prostate, ovary, endometrium, and breast. Her findings have served to inform the medical and public health communities about fetal exposure to toxic environmental compounds in food and drinking water, and have led to crucial regulatory changes. Collectively, her work has contributed to the passed California “Toxic Toy Bill”, and the re-examination of the risk of BPA by the National Toxicology Program.

As Jacob G Schmidlapp Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati, Dr. Ho’s current research focus is on epigenetic mechanisms in epidemiological studies. Utilizing state-of-the-art investigative tools and technology for genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, epigenomics, and informatics, Dr. Ho’s work explores the effects of multi-environmental exposures at various developmental stages, and the trans-generational consequences of exposure on epigenetic changes in relation to cancer susceptibility. Her findings have implicated epigenetic dysregulation of gene expression – associated with early-life exposure to toxic compounds – as a root cause of later development of cancers, asthma, cardiometabolic disorders and other complex chronic diseases. Her goals are to discover biomarkers for early cancer detection and recurrence, and improve mechanism-based drug development in the advancement of predictive and preventive medicine.

Dr. Ho obtained multiple degrees from the University of Hong Kong, and went on to hold appointments at Boston University, Tufts University, and the University of Massachusetts, before joining the University of Cincinnati. With over 30 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Ho has published well over 200 articles, and is an active participant of the American Urologic Society, the Endocrine Society, Society for Basic Urologic Research (SBUR; Past President), Society of Toxicology, and the American Association for Cancer Research. She regularly chairs scientific review and policy committees for the NIH and the Department of Defense (DoD), and is a past member of the Integration Panel of the DoD Congressionally Directed Prostate Cancer Research Program, and the National Academy of Science Committee of Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions. Dr. Ho was honored by the Ohio Senate during its 127th General Assembly (2007), and received the Women in Urology Award from the SBUR and the Society of Women in Urology (2007). In 2013, she received the Mentor of Excellence Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation; in 2014, was profiled in the journal of Endocrine-Related Cancer (http://erc.endocrinology-journals.org/content/21/4/P19.full), and in 2015 was the recipient of the George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Distinguished Scientific Research, and Lifetime Achievement Award in Research, from the University of Cincinnati.