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Ronald A. DePinho, MD

Ronald A. DePinho, MD

Cancer and Aging


May 22, 2014, 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.


Ronald A. DePinho, MD

President, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Member, NAS Institute of Medicine


Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, M203
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016

Dr. DePinho will discuss recent discoveries that have led to better methods of early cancer detection, improved cancer patient care, and new cancer drugs. Such discoveries can come from a range of fields, including developing new biomarkers, discovering new cancer genes, uncovering new stem cell biology, and genetically engineering new mouse models to study cancer in humans.

In a notable discovery, Dr. DePinho showed a link between advancing age and increasing risk in cancer. He established that three factors - telomere dysfunction, an impaired ability of a cell to repair DNA damage, and the continued renewal of the epithelial layer of tissue that covers organs - all unite to cause rearrangements in the DNA that drive the genesis of many common cancers. To learn more about telomeres and how aging pushes the human body toward cancerous tumors, be sure to attend.

A public reception will precede this event in the VTC Cafe at 5 p.m.

About the Speaker:

Ronald A. DePinho, MD, is president of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. His research program has focused on the molecular underpinnings of cancer, aging, and degenerative disorders, and the translation of such knowledge into clinical advances.

Dr. DePinho’s independent scientific career began at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he was the Feinberg Senior Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research. He then joined the Department of Medical Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

At Harvard, he was the founding director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a professor of medicine and genetics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. DePinho is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research, and has served on numerous advisory boards in the public and private sectors. Dr. DePinho studied biology at Fordham University, where he graduated class salutatorian, and received his medical doctorate with distinction in microbiology and immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. DePinho has won the American Italian Cancer Foundation Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine and the Agilent Technologies Thought Leader Award as well as the outstanding Phi Beta Kappa alumnus award. He is a recipient of the National Cancer Institute Merit Award, the James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award, the Cancer Research Institute Investigator Award, a March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Scholar Award, an American Heart Association Established Investigator Award, the Irma T. Hirschl Career Scientist Award, an American Cancer Society Research Professorship, the Clair W. and Richard P. Morse Research Award of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the American Society for Clinical Investigation Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award, the American Cancer Society Edith A. Pistorino Research Professorship, the Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research, and the Biomedicum Helsinki Medal.

Dr. DePinho has served on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research. He is the chair of the scientific advisory board of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation in New York and of the Goldhirsh Foundation scientific advisory board in Los Angeles. He is a member of the scientific advisory boards of the Lustgarten Foundation in Bethpage and the Sidney Kimmel Foundation in Philadelphia. He has published almost 300 original research articles, including many in such important medical and scientific journals as Blood, Cancer Cell, Cell, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine, Neuron, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Stem Cells.

Additional Details

This is a free event. The host is Michael Friedlander, PhD. For more information, please call 540-526-2013, or send an e-mail.

Map and Parking

This map shows where the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute is located in Roanoke, VA at 2 Riverside Circle.

Parking is available in the parking garage across the street.

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