UW Today

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April 9, 2009

Pharmacy professor receives prestigious biotechnology award

Rodney Ho, associate dean for research and new initiatives and the Milo Gibaldi Endowed Professor of Pharmaceutics at the UW School of Pharmacy, has been named the recipient of the 2009 Paul R. Dawson Biotechnology Award. The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) gives this award each year to a pharmacy educator who has made important contributions to contemporary teaching and scholarship in biotechnology.


“Rodney represents the very best of academic pharmacy,” said Lucinda L. Maine, AACP executive vice president and CEO. “He has been at the forefront of biotechnology research and education for decades and has brought numerous accomplishments and innovations to modern medicine and patients with HIV and cancer.”


The AACP pointed out Ho’s commitment to the area of biotechnology-based therapeutic agents through both teaching and research. Specifically, he developed a biotechnology elective course offered to graduate and professional students at UW in 1992, and he co-authored the first textbook of its kind, Biotechnology and Biopharmaceutics: Transforming Proteins and Genes into Drugs, in 2003.


In addition, Ho has dedicated his research over the years to the development and evaluation of liposome formulations. He has examined delivery to specific tissues such as brain and lymphatic tissues, two targets for the treatment of cancer and HIV. He is a recognized expert in liposome formulations, as evidenced by his extensive research funding, publication record and service on National Institutes of Health review panels. Further, he holds five patents in liposome technology and therapeutics.


Ho, an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Tennessee. He joined the UW School of Pharmacy in 1990.


“I am deeply honored to be chosen for this prestigious award,” said Ho. “The prize money will allow me to further my commitment to inspiring students and the next generation of researchers to be passionate about teaching and research, and to excel in both areas.”


The AACP award is named in honor of former Amgen vice president of marketing and sales, Paul R. Dawson, a staunch supporter of education in biotechnology. Ho will receive the award and a monetary prize during the AACP Annual Meeting in July in Boston.


The AACP is a national organization representing pharmacy education and educators. It comprises 111 accredited colleges and schools of pharmacy, including almost 60,000 faculty members, professional students and graduate students.