Personal profile


Dr Gwo Yaw Ho is a medical oncologist and a clinician-scientist investigating better ways to treat cancer. Dr Ho graduated from The University of Glasgow, Scotland, in 2004, before completing his medical oncology specialist training in Brisbane, Queensland, in 2014. In 2019, he completed a laboratory-based, translational PhD at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne. Do Ho’s PhD in ovarian and rare cancer research was completed whilst he worked simultaneously as a medical oncologist at Peter McCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne. Dr Ho is now leading a research group in the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash University and is also a part of the medical oncology team at Monash Health treating patients with breast and gynaecologic cancers within the Clinical Trial Unit.

Research interests:

Almost all patients with stage 4 solid tumour cancers eventually succumb to their disease. Despite major advances in cancer systemic therapeutics; chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy remain the only cancer treatment options associated with significant long-term survival benefit, if the tumour responds.

Dr Ho’s research team at Monash University has developed a novel tumour analysis platform that can identify neoantigens (cancer cell proteins). Dr Ho’s team are able  to determine the correct T-cell receptors against specific neoantigens, and to transfer T-cell receptors to the appropriate cancer-killing immune-cells. This novel platform has the potential to revolutionise how cancers are treated, by tailoring immunotherapy specifically to a patient’s tumour and immune system.

This work is supported by Research Establishment Fellowship from the RACP Foundation and Tour de Cure Research Grant.

Other research interests:

MYCN is an early embryonic developmental gene that is completely silenced following completion of embryogenesis, except in the context of malignancy or in spermatogonial stem cell population. It plays an important role in regulating cell growth and division (proliferation), self-destruction of cells (apoptosis), cell stemness and differentiation (cell fate), and cell migration. Twenty percent of high grade serous ovarian cancers (HGSOC) are associated with MYCN oncogene pathway activation, which is linked to stem cell like behaviour and confers a poor prognosis.

Dr Ho’s research focuses on understanding the role of the MYCN pathway in HGSOC tumorigenesis and developing robust pre-clinical models to explore novel therapeutics for this subset of HGSOC. His studies have demonstrated that activation of the MYCN pathway in the fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells can drive ovarian cancer development and he utilises this model to generate pre-clinical data to support clinical trial designs.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Cancer Research, PhD,  Understanding the role of MYCN in ovarian cancer to underpin treatment strategies, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)

Award Date: 26 Aug 2019

Medicine, MBChB, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 5 Jul 2004

Molecular and Cellular Biology, BSc (Hon) , The Role of Calpain-mediated Proteolysis in Regulating the Phenotype of Metastatic Epithelial Cells, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jul 2002

External positions

Senior Medical Oncologist, Monash Health

8 Oct 2018 → …

Research area keywords

  • Cancer
  • Cancer Biology
  • Biomarkers
  • T-cell Receptor Therapy
  • Immunopeptidomics

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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