Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., is one of the nation’s most influential healthcare leaders, physician-scientists and entrepreneurs. He currently is president of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, which leads one of the world’s largest and most impactful cancer networks, with partnerships throughout the United States and in 23 countries. MD Anderson ranks No. 1 in cancer care in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report and is a research powerhouse with the world’s largest cancer clinical trials engine that is responsible for leading the trials for one in three new cancer medicines.
Upon his arrival to MD Anderson in September 2011, Dr. DePinho conceived and launched the Moon Shots Program, a goal-oriented comprehensive effort designed to accelerate declines in cancer incidence and mortality in the nation and world. This initiative involving nearly 2,000 faculty and staff already has yielded practice-changing advances in a number of cancers. An author of nearly 400 peer-reviewed articles, books and chapters, Dr. DePinho’s own research program has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging and degenerative disorders, and the translation of such knowledge has led to clinical advances. His most celebrated discoveries include elucidation of the core molecular pathway for aging, determination of the basis for the intimate link between advancing age and increased cancer incidence and demonstration that aging can be reversed.
Dr. DePinho studied biology at Fordham University, where he graduated class salutatorian, and received his M.D. degree with distinction in microbiology and immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He performed his residency and postdoctoral training at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. DePinho’s independent career began at Einstein as the Feinberg Senior Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research and an ACS Research Professor. He then joined the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School where he was the founding Director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science and a Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Harvard.
Dr. DePinho has served on numerous public and private boards including the NIH human cancer genome atlas project advisory board. He founded several private and publically traded biotechnology companies and served as an advisor for numerous biotech and large biopharma companies in oncology. His companies have created new drugs and diagnostics for the benefit of cancer patients.
For his fundamental contributions to cancer and aging and to healthcare, he has been recognized with numerous honors and awards. This year, he was named one of the 100 most influential healthcare leaders, according to Modern Healthcare. His honors include the Melini Award for Biomedical Excellence, the American Society for Clinical Investigation Award, the Biomedicum Helsinki Medal, Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize, and the American-Italian Foundation Prize, among others. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Science, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association of the Advancement of Science and the American Association of Cancer Research. For his work to improve the health of Portugal’s people, Dr. DePinho was recognized by its president with the highest commendation, the 2015 Order of Saint James of the Sword.