Dr. Sunita Ho, UCSF School of Dentistry

Dr. Sunita Ho has helped spearhead studies on the micro architecture of human calculi.  She and her research group are doing this with micro indentation, microCT, 3D-imaging, and micro spectroscopy, The collaboration that Drs. Stoller and Chi have formed with Dr. Ho has also lead to an additional collaboration with the foundry at LBNL (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).

With this collaboration, they have assembled a novel interdisciplinary team of experts to study the biomineralization in the human renal papilla with Dr. Sunita Ho, a biomaterials and bioengineering expert, and Drs. Marshall Stoller and Thomas Chi, nationally recognized urologic clinicians and leaders in the study and treatment of nephrolithiasis, at the helm.  This effort is an integral part of collaboration at UCSF between the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine to investigate differences in normal and pathologic mineralizations in various human organs.  Their research aims to further the understanding of the fundamental building blocks for mineral formation, which will help direct potential novel clinical interventions to mitigate the increasing global incidence of urinary stone disease.  The multidisciplinary and multicampus collaborations (UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) within our Biomineralization Group will catalyze a change in the established paradigm by identifying the underpinnings of biomineral formations in human tissues, something that has not yet been well-studied. They postulate that there is a biophysical cue that could subsequently trigger a biochemical cascade leading to mineral formation in humans.

The employment of a bioengineering approach with an emphasis on materials science and mechanics to solve widespread and increasing global biomedical problems has been previously underutilized. They believe that it will now lead to impactful science and effective clinical interventions. They also believe their work will provoke new lines of research in the scientific community.

Read more about Dr. Sunita Ho and her work on her UCSF Profile.