Citation for Dr. David D. Ho

Presented by J. Michael Chu ’80, trustee, for the honorary degree Doctor of Science

President Hansen, I am honored to present Dr. David D. Ho.

It is the vocation of the physician to alleviate suffering, and of the scientist to uncover the workings of the physical world. As both healer and researcher, David Ho has been a pioneer and a leader in the quest to understand, treat and stem the spread of HIV and AIDS.

As a hospital physician in the early 1980s, Dr. Ho saw some of the first cases of a new and virulent multi-symptom disease that would be later identified as AIDS, and its causal virus, HIV. Dr. Ho’s medical curiosity about this new disease soon became a life’s work, and he resolved to reveal the pathogenesis of HIV and discover ways to effectively treat it and prevent its transmission. Only by his understanding of the molecular structure of the HIV virus could the discovery be made that retroviral drugs and other medications should be taken in combination. The “drug cocktail” protocol that he developed dramatically reduced the incidence of death from AIDS in the United States by the mid-1990s, for which he was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1996.

Dr. Ho’s current research focuses on the development of HIV vaccines as the most economical and practical means of preventing the spread of HIV around the globe.

Dr. Ho possesses a deeply held humanitarian commitment to finding equitable ways to fight HIV and AIDS in developing countries and in China, where he advocates for improved public education and the adoption of sound public health policy.

For his unflagging determination to find treatments for HIV and AIDS, for his compassion for all victims of this disease and for his call for effective public health strategies, I am honored to present David D. Ho for the degree Doctor of Science.

President’s conferral:

David D. Ho, with the record speed that must attend a global health crisis, you and your colleagues drew upon your many talents as scientists and doctors to make breakthrough discoveries about HIV and AIDS.

Therefore, by the authority vested in me by the Board of Trustees, I hereby confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Science, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities which here and everywhere pertain to this degree.