TAMEST recognizes UT Southwestern’s Ralph DeBerardinis for changing our understanding of cancer

Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D., professor at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) is the recipient of the 2019 Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Medicine from TAMEST (The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas).

Dr. DeBerardinis is a pioneer in studying how altered metabolism leads to diseases in humans. His work in cancer metabolism has changed our understanding of how tumors reprogram metabolic pathways to maximize energy production and growth. By analyzing tumor metabolism directly in patients, he has identified unexpected fuels and pathways not observed in conventional studies performed in the laboratory. These include unexpected roles for mitochondria and lactic acid in fueling aggressive tumors. Discoveries from Dr. DeBerardinis have opened new avenues of study for therapies and imaging techniques.

"Dr. DeBerardinis is a leader in the area of cancer metabolism," says Sean Morrison, Ph.D., Director and Professor at CRI. "His work is changing the way we think about the metabolism of cancer cells and yielding new strategies for treating disease."

Dr. DeBerardinis is also the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Genetics and Metabolism at UT Southwestern and Director of the Genetic and Metabolic Disease Program at CRI. Learn more about Dr. DeBerardinis and his discoveries.

"The TAMEST Edith and Peter O'Donnell Awards highlight the groundbreaking research taking place in Texas," says TAMEST President Gordon England. "The discoveries by these researchers are advancing science and improving lives. TAMEST is proud to celebrate Dr. DeBerardinis for his achievements."

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