Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF. He received his medical training from the Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned a B.A. in Humanities summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate address. For over 40 years, he has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease and also early-stage prostate cancer. Medicare created a new benefit category to cover his program. His research showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes “turn on” disease-preventing genes and “turn off” genes that promote cancer and heart disease, as well as the first controlled study showing that these lifestyle changes may begin to reverse cellular aging by lengthening telomeres. He is currently directing the first randomized controlled trial to determine if these lifestyle changes may reverse the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease.He is the author of seven books, all national bestsellers, including UnDo It! (co-authored with Anne Ornish). His three main-stage TED.com talks have been viewed by over six million people. His work has been featured in cover stories in Newsweek, TIME, and U.S. News & World Report.
He was appointed by President Clinton and by President Obama to White House Advisory Commissions and by Governor Newsom to the Governor’s Brain Trust on Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention and Preparedness. The “Ornish diet” has been rated “#1 for Heart Health” by a panel of experts at U.S. News & World Report for ten years from 2011-2021. He co-chaired the Google Health Advisory Council with Marissa Mayer 2007-9. He was recognized as “one of the 125 most extraordinary University of Texas alumni in the past 125 years;” a “National Public Health Hero” award from the University of California, Berkeley; by TIME magazine as a “TIME 100 Innovator;” by LIFE magazine as “one of the fifty most influential members of his generation;” by People magazine as “one of the most interesting people of the year;” and by Forbes magazine as “one of the world’s seven most powerful teachers.”