Prof Dean Ornish – Ambassador
Dean Ornish, M.D., is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco and San Diego. He received his M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine, was a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at 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, without drugs or surgery. He directed the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may slow, stop or reverse the progression of early- stage prostate cancer. His research showed that comprehensive lifestyle changes affect gene expression, “turning on” disease- preventing genes and “turning 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, the ends of our chromosomes which regulate aging (in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine & Physiology). He is currently directing the first randomized controlled trial to determine if comprehensive lifestyle changes can reverse the progression of early Alzheimer’s disease.
He is the author of seven books, all national bestsellers. UnDo It! (co- authored with Anne Ornish) was published by Random House as their lead nonfiction title in January 2019. His three main-stage TED.com talks have been viewed by almost six million people.
He was appointed by President Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy and by President Obama to the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. He is also a member of The Lancet Oncology “Moonshot Commission.” He has been a member of the boards of directors of the San Francisco Food Bank and the J. Craig Venter Institute. Dr. Ornish and colleagues established a lifestyle medicine clinic at the St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter in San Francisco where over 30,000 homeless people were treated.
The “Ornish diet” has been rated “#1 for Heart Health” by a panel of experts at U.S. News & World Report for eight years from 2011-2019.