Jacqueline Ho, MD, MSc

  • Associate Professor of Pediatrics
  • Director, Pediatric Nephrology Fellowship, UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Co-Director, Pediatric Scientist Development Program

Administrative Assistant: Rebecca Burkhart-Ceoffe

Jacqueline Ho, MD, MSc is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Nephrology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She earned her medical degree at the University of Western Ontario (Canada). She trained in pediatrics at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, University of British Columbia (Canada) and subsequently in pediatric nephrology at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School. 

The leading cause of chronic kidney disease and renal failure in children is abnormal development of the kidney and urinary tract. Thus, her research program is focused on understanding the role of microRNAs in kidney development and disease.  Her laboratory has recently shown that microRNAs are involved in regulating the proliferation and survival of nephron progenitors in the developing kidney, which has important implications for congenital nephron endowment and subsequent kidney health in children and adults. 

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • Canadian Pediatric Society, member, 2002-2010
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, fellow, 2005-Present
  • Canadian Society of Nephrology, member, 2006-2018
  • American Society of Nephrology, associate member, 2006-Present
  • National Kidney Foundation, associate member, 2007-2010
  • American Society of Pediatric Nephrology, member, 2007-Present
  • Canadian Association of Pediatric Nephrology, member, 2008-2018
  • International Pediatric Nephrology Association, member, 2012-Present
  • Society for Pediatric Research, member, 2016-Present

Education & Training

  • BSc, Genetics, Western University, 1995
  • MSc, Developmental Biology, University of Toronto, 1997
  • MD, Western University, 2001
  • Residency in Pediatrics, British Columbia Children's Hospital, 2001-2005
  • Research Fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology, Children's Hospital Boston-Harvard Medical School, 2005-2007
  • Clinical Fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology, Children's Hospital Boston-Harvard Medical School, 2007-2010

Selected Publications

Cerqueira DM, Bodnar AJ, Phua YL, Freer R, Hemker SL, Walensky LD, Hukriede NA and Ho J. Bim gene dosage is critical in modulating nephron progenitor survival in the absence of microRNAs during kidney development. FASEB J, 2017 Aug; 31(8): 3540-3554. PMID: 28446592.

Mukherjee E, Maringer KV, Papke E, Bushnell DS, Schaefer CM, Kramann R, Ho J, Humphreys BD, Bates CM and Sims-Lucas S. Endothelial markers expressing stromal cells are critical for kidney formation. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol, 2017 Sept 1;313(3): F611-F620. PMID: 2853933.

Espiritu EB, Crunk AR, Bais A, Hochbaum D, Cervino AS, Phua YL, Butterworth MB, Goto T, Ho J, Hukriede NA and Cirio MC. The Lhx1-Ldb1 complex interacts with Furry to regulate microRNA expression during pronephric kidney development. Sci Rep, 2018 Oct 30; 8(1): 16029. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34038-x. PMID: 30375416.

Phua YL, Clugston A, Chen KH, Kostka D+ and Ho J+. Small non-coding RNA expression in mouse nephrogenic mesenchymal progenitors. Sci Data. 2018 Nov 13;5:180218. doi: 10.1038/sdata.2018.218. PMID: 30422124.

Phua YL, Chen KH, Hemker SL, Marrone AK, Bodnar AJ, Liu X, Clugston A, Kostka D, Butterworth MB and Ho J. Loss of miR-17~92 results in dysregulation of Cftr in nephron progenitors. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol, 2019 May 1;316(5):F993-F1005. PMID: 30838872.

Cargill K, Hemker SL, Clugston A, Murali A, Mukherjee E, Liu J, Bushnell D, Bodnar, AJ, Saifudeen Z, Ho J, Bates CM, Kostka D, Goetzman E and Sims-Lucas S. Von Hippel-Lindau acts as a metabolic switch controlling nephron progenitor differentiation. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2019 Jul;30(7):1192-1205. PMID: 31142573.

Vasylyeva TL, Diaz-Gonzalez de Ferris ME, Hains DS, Ho J, Harshman LA, Reidy KR, Brady TM, Okamura DM, Samsonov DV, Wenderfer SE, Hartung EA.  Developing a Research Mentorship Program: The American Society of Pediatric Nephrology’s experience. Front Pediatr. 2019 Apr 24;7:155. doi: 10.3389/fped.2019.00155. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31069203.

Cerqueira DM, Hemker SL, Bodnar AJ, Ortiz DM, Oladipupo FO, Mukherjee E, Gong Z, Appolonia C, Muzumdar RH, Sims-Lucas S and Ho J. In utero exposure to maternal diabetes impairs nephron progenitor differentiation. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol, 2019 Nov 1;317(5):F1318-F1330. PMID: 31509011. *APS Select article, recognizing distinction in scholarship.

Tan RJ, Li Y, Rush BM, Cerqueira DM, Zhou D, Fu H, Ho J, Stolz D and Liu Y. Tubular injury triggers podocyte dysfunction by β-catenin-driven release of MMP-7. JCI Insight. 2019 Dec 19;4(24). doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.122399.  PMID: 31743113.

Anslow MJ, Bodnar AJ, Cerqueira DM, Bushnell D, Shrom BE, Sims-Lucas S, Bates CM and Ho J. Increased rates of vesicoureteral reflux in mice from deletion of Dicer in the peri-Wolffian duct stroma. Pediatr Res. 2020 Feb 3;. doi: 10.1038/s41390-020-0788-7. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 32015493.

Hemker SL, Cerqueira DM, Bodnar AJ, Cargill KR, Clugston A, Anslow MJ, Sims-Lucas S, Kostka D and Ho J. Deletion of hypoxia-responsive microRNA-210 results in a sex-specific decrease in nephron number. FASEB J. 2020 Mar 5; doi: 10.1096/fj.201902767R. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32141129.

Academic and Research Interests

  • Role of microRNAs in regulating kidney progenitor cells during renal development
  • Mechanisms by which microRNAs affect podocyte structure and function in development and disease
  • Regulation of kidney progenitor survival in renal development and its impact on nephron number
  • Impact of intrauterine exposure to maternal diabetes on kidney development
  • Role of microRNAs in acute kidney injury
  • Structure-function relationships: high resolution imaging of the entire kidney in three dimensions

Research Grants

NIH DK125015, Endothelial miR-17~92 protects against acute kidney injury (Multi-PI, 25% effort, Contact PI), 2020-2024, $243.655.

NIH DK076169 and DK115255, Understanding how exposure to maternal diabetes impacts kidney development (PI, 5% effort), 2019-2020, $63,898.

NIH R01DK103776, The role of miR-17~92 in nephron progenitors (PI, 35% effort), 2014-2020 (NCE), $225,000.

Cochrane Weber, In utero exposure to hyperglycemia impairs nephron differentiation (PI), 2018-2020 (NCE), $39,000.

Vascular Medicine Institute, Endothelial miR-17~92 protects against renal ischemia reperfusion injury (PI), 2019-2020, $25,000.