Mitchell Ho, Ph.D.

Mitchell Ho, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Dr. Ho has pioneered studies on characterization of glypicans as new cancer therapeutic targets with a focus on development of antibody engineering-based immunotherapies. His area of research ranges from investigation of molecular and cellular mechanisms by which glypicans such as GPC1, GPC2 and GPC3 regulate Wnt and Yap signaling to the design of antibody and T cell-based therapeutics. He established mammalian cell surface display and built shark and camel single-domain antibody phage libraries as new tools to advance drug discovery. The immune therapeutics, including CAR-T cells, created in his laboratory are being tested at clinical stages for treating liver cancer, neuroblastoma, mesothelioma and other cancers. Dr. Ho is also Director of the NCI CCR Antibody Engineering Program.

Areas of Expertise

Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycan
Protein and Antibody Engineering


Selected Recent Publications

The IgG4 hinge with CD28 transmembrane domain improves VHH-based CAR T cells targeting a membrane-distal epitope of GPC1 in pancreatic cancer

Li N, Quan A, Li D, Pan J, Ren H, Hoeltzel G, de Val N, Ashworth D, Ni W, Zhou J, Mackay S, Hewitt SM, Cachau R, Ho M.
Nat Commun. 14(1): 1986, 2023.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

CAR T cells targeting tumor-associated exons of glypican 2 regress neuroblastoma in mice.

Li N, Torres MB, Spetz MR, Wang R, Peng L, Tian M, Dower CM, Nguyen R, Sun M, Tai CH, de Val N, Cachau R, Wu X, Hewitt SM, Kaplan RN, Khan J, St Croix B, Thiele CJ, Ho M.
Cell Rep Med. 2(6): 100297, 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Persistent Polyfunctional Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells That Target Glypican 3 Eliminate Orthotopic Hepatocellular Carcinomas in Mice

Li D, Li N, Zhang YF, Fu H, Feng M, Schneider D, Su L, Wu X, Zhou J, Mackay S, Kramer J, Duan Z, Yang H, Kolluri A, Hummer AM, Torres MB, Zhu H, Hall MD, Luo X, Chen J, Wang Q, Abate-Daga D, Dropulic B, Hewitt SM, Orentas RJ, Greten TF, Ho M.
Gastroenterology. 158(8): 2250-2265, 2020.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Therapeutically targeting glypican-2 via single-domain antibody-based chimeric antigen receptors and immunotoxins in neuroblastoma.

Li N, Fu H, Hewitt SM, Dimitrov DS, Ho M.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 114(32): E6623-E6631, 2017.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Immunotoxin targeting glypican-3 regresses liver cancer via dual inhibition of Wnt signalling and protein synthesis

Gao W, Tang Z, Zhang YF, Feng M, Qian M, Dimitrov DS, Ho M
Nat. Commun. 6: 6536, 2015.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

Position Degree Required Contact Name Contact Email
Postdoctoral Fellow - antibody engineering, nanobody Ph.D. or equivalent Mitchell Ho
Postbaccalaureate Fellow - antibody engineering, nanobody B.S./B.A. or equivalent Dr. Mitchell Ho


Received NIH Director's Challenge Innovation Award to develop nanobodies for use as cancer imaging agents (NIH IRP Intramural Blog, 09/19/2022)

Dr. Mitchell Ho and Jessica Hong Oral History (Office of NIH History & Stetten Museum, 05/10/2022)

IRP Pushes Forward in Fight Against Pandemic Virus (NIH IRP Intramural Blog, 02/14/2022)

Nanobodies inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 binding to ACE (NIH/FDA COVID-19 Research Workshop, 10/2020)

Received Intramural Targeted Anti-COVID-19 (ITAC) Awards for the project "Development of Neutralizing Nanobodies Against SARS-CoV-2" (NIH OIR, 09/29/2020)

Serendipitous Collaboration Leads to Potential Therapy for Liver Cancer (NCI at Frederick Poster, 08/17/2020)

Pandemic Brings All Hands on Deck  (NIH IRP Intramural Blog, 06/16/2020)