Taekwondo Champions Worldwide : USA

Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., D.Sc. (h.c.), Ph.D. (h.c.)

Country : USA


About Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., D.Sc. (h.c.), Ph.D. (h.c.)

Ronald A. DePinho, M.D., a distinguished 6th-degree master in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, trained under the legendary Master Ik Jo Kang. Dr. DePinho’s journey in Tae Kwon Do in his early years in Yonkers, New York, where he was one of the inaugural students of the renowned Kang Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido school. Rising through the ranks, he emerged as a top competitor on both national and international stages, winning over 60 trophies, including All-American Championships, Mid-West Championships, and General Choi World Championships, where he served as US team captain. In 1978, as a medical student, he founded the Einstein Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido School at the Einstein Medical School, which continues to operate to the present day. Due to his extraordinary Tae Kwon Do background Ronald A. DePinho is a candidate to receive the highest honor in Tae Kwon Do upon being inducted into the Official Taekwondo Hall of Fame® in an historic ceremony being held in Munich, Germany on August 23, 2024.

Dr. DePinho attributes his professional and personal achievements to the core values instilled by his martial arts training. Beyond his martial arts career, Dr. DePinho is a distinguished physician, scientist, and public advocate of significant impact. As the past president and distinguished university professor of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the nation’s premier cancer research and treatment institution, he spearheaded groundbreaking research discoveries that have revealed fundamental mechanisms underpinning cancer and aging. His laboratory’s discoveries have paved the way for new lifesaving advancements in cancer prevention and treatment.

The son of Portuguese immigrants, 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 academic 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. As president of MD Anderson, Dr. DePinho conceived and launched the Moon Shots Program, a goal-oriented comprehensive effort designed to accelerate declines in cancer incidence and mortality. This initiative inspired President Biden to launch the national cancer moonshot. He also elevated MD Anderson’s research programs, recruiting many world class faculty including National Academy Members and its first Nobel Prize. To improve cancer care on a global scale, he assembled a global network of sister institutions in 24 countries that collectively reached one-third of the human population.

A prolific researcher, Dr. DePinho has authored over 400 articles, books and chapters that have advanced our understanding of cancer, aging and degenerative disorders which have led to clinical advances including new cancer drugs and diagnostics. His most notable discoveries include elucidation of the core molecular pathway for aging and demonstration that aging itself can be reversed which is leading to new therapeutic strategies for aging and age-related diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease. He founded 9 private and publicly traded biotechnology companies and served as an advisor or director for biotech and large biopharma companies focused on oncology. His public service includes advisory roles for public and private organizations as well as the Vatican and several countries. He is chairman and co-founder a non-profit, OPA Health (previously, Unite to Prevent Cancer) whose mission is disease prevention in underserved communities. As an advocate, he was a key driver in the bipartisan bill raising the age of tobacco purchase to 21 (T21) and the bipartisan Cures Act. He is Vice Chair of the BOD for Act For NIH, a non-profit advocacy organization to garner bipartisan support for biomedical research.

In recognition of his contributions to healthcare and biomedical research, Dr. DePinho has received numerous honors and awards, including 100 most influential healthcare leaders, the Biomedicum Helsinki Medal, Albert Szent-Györgyi Prize, AACR Clowes Award, 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 and the American Association of Cancer Research. He received Fordham University’s McMahon Memorial Award for Distinguished Public Service, honorary degrees from Harvard University, Hofstra University, China Medicine University, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. For his work to improve the health of Portugal’s people, Dr. DePinho was recognized by its president with the highest commendation, the Order of Saint James of the Sword.