Dean Ornish, MD

Dr. Dean OrnishDean Ornish, MD

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, San Francisco. Dr. Ornish 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 36 years, Dr. Ornish 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. Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for this program, the first time that Medicare has covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes. 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 current 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 study showing that these lifestyle changes may begin to reverse aging by lengthening telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes which control aging (in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine).

He is the author of six books, all national bestsellers, including: Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease; Eat More, Weigh Less; Love & Survival; and his most recent book, The Spectrum.

The research that he and his colleagues conducted has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Circulation, The New England Journal of Medicine, the American Journal of Cardiology, The Lancet Oncology, and elsewhere. A one-hour documentary of their work was broadcast on NOVA, the PBS science series, and was featured on Bill Moyers' PBS series, Healing & The Mind. Their work has been featured in all major media, including cover stories in Newsweek, TIME, and U.S. News & World Report. He has written a monthly column for Newsweek and Reader’s Digest magazines, is currently Medical Editor of The Huffington Post and writes a regular column for TIME magazine.

Dr. Ornish 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 has been a member of the boards of directors of the San Francisco Food Bank, the J. Craig Venter Institute, and the St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter in SF where he and colleagues established an integrative medicine clinic which will be replicated throughout the country. He was elected to the California Academy of Medicine and chaired the Google Health Advisory Council with Marissa Mayer 2007-9.

The “Ornish diet” was rated #1 for heart health by U.S. News & World Report in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

He has received several awards, including the 1994 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the University of Texas, Austin; the University of California, Berkeley, “National Public Health Hero” award; the Jan J. Kellermann Memorial Award for distinguished contribution in the field of cardiovascular disease prevention from the International Academy of Cardiology; a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association; the Beckmann Medal from the German Society for Prevention and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Diseases; the “Pioneer in Integrative Medicine” award from California Pacific Medical Center; the Stanley Wallach Lectureship Award from the American College of Nutrition; the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement; the Linus Pauling Award from the Institute for Functional Medicine; the Glenn Foundation Award for Research; the Bravewell Collaborative Pioneer of Integrative Medicine award; and the Sheila Kar Health Foundation Humanitarian Award from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles). Dr. Ornish has been a physician consultant to President Clinton since 1993 and to several bipartisan members of the U.S. Congress, and he consulted with the chefs at The White House, Camp David, and Air Force One to cook more healthfully (1993-2000). He gave a keynote speech reviewing the science of integrative medicine at the Institute of Medicine’s first Summit on Integrative Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. For more information:

Dr. Ornish was honored as “one of the 125 most extraordinary University of Texas alumni in the past 125 years;” chosen by LIFE magazine as “one of the fifty most influential members of his generation;” recognized as “one of the most interesting people of 1996” by People magazine; and by Forbes magazine as “one of the world’s seven most powerful teachers.”


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For press or speaking inquires related to Dr. Ornish, please contact Tandis Alizadeh

Phone 415.332.2525 x229
Email: Tandis Alizadeh (



1/23 - Keynote Speaker, Seattle Study Club, Orange County, CA

2/10 - Keynote Speaker: Integrative Healthcare Symposium, New York

2/24 - Speaker, Urban Zen Foundation, New York, NY

3/26 - Speaker, American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific meeting, Chicago, IL

3/29 - Keynote Speaker, The Young President’s / World President’s Organization, Orange County, CA

4/13 - Speaker, Lancet Oncology Symposium, Singapore

4/30 - Speaker, HealthCorps Gala, Sacramento, CA

5/8 - Keynote Speaker, futureFocus2012, St. Louis, MO

5/15 - Medical Grand Rounds, Montefiore Medical Center, NY

5/16 - Speaker, Global Fund Conference, NY

6/22 - Keynote Speaker, American Society for Nutrition, Chicago, IL

9/16 - Keynote Speaker, American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Denver, CO

10/6 - Speaker, Esalen 50th Anniversary, CA

10/23 - Keynote Speaker, Osler Symposium, San Diego, CA




1/15 - Yoga Journal Keynote San Francisco, CA

2/14 - Annual Heart Protection Seminar, Los Angeles, CA

2/17 - American College of Lifestyle Medicine, San Antonio, TX

3/22 - Health 2.0 Conference Keynote, San Diego

4/19 - TRW Wellness Center Opening Lecture, Cleveland Ohio

4/19 - Cleveland Clinic Grand Rounds, Cleveland Ohio

4/21 - Keynote Speaker, Slate Magazine Childhood Obesity event, Cleveland, OH

5/5 - Guest Speaker, PG Chambers School, Short Hills, NJ

5/9 - Speaker, Andrew Weill Nutrition Conference, San Francisco, CA

5/12 - Speaker, FutureMed at Singularity University, Moffett Field, CA

5/19 - Keynote Speaker, Prince Charles Health Conference, UK

6/22 - Speaker, Singularity University, Moffett Field, CA

6/29 - Speaker, Aspen Ideas Festival, Aspen, CO

8/4 - Keynote Speaker, Army War College, Harrisburg, PA

9/26 - Speaker, Google Zeitgeist, Paradise Valley, AZ

10/5 - Speaker, UCSF Nutrition Lecture, San Francisco, CA

10/10 - Speaker, GraceWorks, San Francisco, CA

10/16 - Speaker, MGH Department of Medicine 200th Reunion, Boston, MA

11/2/11 Plenary Talk, The Business of a Better World Conference, SF, CA

11/16/11 Presentation, American College of Nutrition 52nd Annual Conference, Hyatt Morristown, Morristown, NJ




Dr. Ornish's Latest Book: The Spectrum
New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.

Dr. Ornish's Latest Book: The Spectrum [AUDIO BOOK]
New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.
Ornish D. Love & Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy. New York: HarperCollins, 1998
Ornish D. Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. New York: Random House, 1990; Ballantine Books, 1992
Ornish D. Everyday Cooking with Dr. Dean Ornish. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1996
Ornish D. Eat More, Weigh Less. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1993
Ornish D. Stress, Diet, & Your Heart. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1982; New American Library (Signet Books), 1983

Selected Video

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Dean Ornish, MD: The Power of Sustainable Changes in Diet & Lifestyle

The University of Texas: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dean Ornish, MD: Reversing Heart Disease

Dr. Oz Show

Drs. Dean Ornish & Deepak Chopra in a wide-ranging discussion


Dean Ornish, MD: What's Good For You is Good For the Planet

Turning the Tide 2010: Institute at the Golden Gate

Dean Ornish, MD: Healthy Connections


Dean Ornish, MD: Bill Clinton and Reversing Heart Disease

CNN: Larry King LIVE

Dean Ornish, MD: Health Reform

CNN: Larry King LIVE

Dean Ornish, MD: Senate Health Reform Testimony

Watch Testmony:
Read Full testimony: PDF

Dean Ornish, MD - Keynote: Reviewing the Science of Integrative Medicine

Institute of Medicine's Summit on Integrative Medicine 2009
View the slides of Dr. Ornish's lecture: (PDF)
Watch Dr. Ornish's talk

Dean Ornish, MD: Genes Are Not Your Fate

TED Talk

Dean Ornish, MD: The World's Killer Diet

TED Talk

Dean Ornish, MD: Healing

TED Talk

Dean Ornish on Stopping Prostate Cancer

Good Morning America

Dean Ornish on Treating the Whole Patient

Good Morning America

Dean Ornish on Breakthroughs in Cancer

Good Morning America

Dean Ornish, MD

Charlie Rose

Dr. Ornish's Columns

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Dr. Ornish's Newsweek Columns

A Lifesaving Legacy

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Judah Folkman transformed our understanding of cancer. Now his groundbreaking work is leading to new strategies for fighting obesity, Alzheimer's and scores of other conditions.

A Plan for Overweight Kids

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The childhood obesity epidemic has been called 'the terrorist threat from within.' Now researchers armed with $500 million are taking aim at this public health disaster.

Bigger Brains, Better Genes

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Believe it or not, those are among the benefits of exercising more and eating healthier.

Changing Your Lifestyle Can Change Your Genes

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New research shows that improved diet, meditation and other non-medical interventions can actually "turn off" the diseasepromoting process in men with prostate cancer.

Chocolate to Live For

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Not only does it taste good, studies show that it improves blood flow to your heart, lowers blood pressure, and other good stuff. What you need to know about a sweet and healthy favorite.

Ending the Sick Care System

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Sen. Tom Harkin on why America cannot afford to skimp on preventive health care

Feel Better, Live Longer

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Love and joy are the real secrets to healthy living.

Forget About Willpower

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The real secret to sticking to your New Year's resolutions is knowing why you want to lose weight and live healthier. Fear of dying is not sustainable; joy of living is.

From Breakdown to Breakthrough

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Proven strategies for helping you survive the stress and anxiety of trying times.

Genes are Only Part of the Story

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In most cases, diet and lifestyle changes trump DNA if you're willing to make big enough changes.

Lifestyle Changes, Regime Changes

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Fear doesn't work--whether it's in politics or at the breakfast table.

Lighten Up

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New studies show that stress not only makes you gain weight, but it affects what you eat and even where you pack on those extra pounds. What you can do to stop it.

Like Parent, Like Child

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The diet and lifestyle choices you make don't just affect you.

Talking with Edwards About Health Reform

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In the first of a series, our columnist explores the candidates' positions on fixing the way we pay for medical care.

The Collapse of Primary Care

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Disaster looms as medical students abandon family practice for higher-paying sub-specialties.

The Dark Side of Good Fats

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While omega-3 fatty acids offer health benefits to most people, new research has found they may be dangerous to some patients.

The Garbage Trucks in Your Blood

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The recent failure of a potential blockbuster drug designed to increase so-called 'good cholesterol' raises important issues about diet and heart health. What is HDL, anyway?

The Never-ending Diet Wars

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A new study reports that the Atkins diet can be just as healthy as a low-fat diet. But don't start buying bacon yet. This research has some serious flaws.

The Toxic Power of Racism

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Recent studies document the harmful effects of discrimination on our health.

Tortured Logic

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There are important reasons why the most sacred medical oaths and doctrines prohibit doctors from participating in torture in any way.

What Matters Most

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That simple question can play a powerful role in healing our lives.

Why Health Insurance Doesn't Work

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Because of a growing awareness that the current system is unsustainable, reformers are promoting disease prevention. A look at one campaign leader.

Yes, Prevention is Cheaper than Treatment

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Don't be misled by recent reports, changes in diet and lifestyle are still the most effective way to lower health-care costs. You'll feel better, too.

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A Peek into Dr. Dean Ornish's Pantry

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Dr. Dean Ornish and his family practice what he preaches and it shows.

The Great Olive Oil Misconception

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Dr. Ornish answers questions about the health value of canola oil versus olive oil.

Bust a Myth, Get a Benefit

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Dr. Ornish sets us straight on common diet myths.

Fed Up? The Truth About Low Calorie Diets

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Dr. Dean Ornish takes a hard look at the recent study about low-fat diets.


For a complete list of Dr. Ornish' publications, please visit the Research page.

Dean Ornish, MD: Medical Editor of the Huffington Post

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Dr. Dean Ornish as the Medical Editor of the Huffington Post

How to Transform Your Lifestyle and Your Life (Part One)

"Listen, here's what I think. I think we can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do. By what we deny ourselves. What we resist, and who we exclude. I think we've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include."

Top 10 Medical Events Of The Decade

In writing about the top 10 medical events of the decade, I first began writing about the latest high-tech breakthroughs in genomics, stem cell research, angiogenesis, and so on.

In addition, some of the biggest medical and health events of the past decade were studies documenting the limitations of...

Sharecare Builds A Web 3.0 Bridge To Better Health

Nowhere is the power of the Internet for improving people's lives more evident than in health care. Having the latest health information literally at their fingertips has enabled people to make more appropriate choices, learn about the effects and side-effects of medications they are taking, hear from peers about their...

Don't Tread on Me: Transcending the Left Wing/Right Wing Health Care Debate

Recently, I found myself in the middle of a contentious debate on Larry King Live sandwiched between President Obama's longtime personal physician, Dr. David Scheiner, and Dr. Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican member of Congress from Texas.

Dr. Scheiner described his disappointment with President Obama for not supporting...

Resuscitating Health Care Reform

Health reform is in danger of failing because the focus has been too much on who is covered and not enough on what is covered. Health care reform is primarily about health insurance reform, with the main battle being over coverage and the payment system.

All Calories are Not the Same!

Recently, The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a study comparing the effects of different diets on weight loss. Their conclusion? It doesn't matter what you eat, only how much you eat. So, pick a diet you can stick with, as that's all that really matters.

Transforming Medicine: An Historic Even

Dr. Ralph Snyderman is Chancellor Emeritus of Duke University and chair of the Institute of Medicine's "Summit on Integrative Medicine" at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC. The Summit s a 2-1/2 day historic event in which some of the most thoughtful and important thinkers are coming together...

Ending the "Sick Care" System: Interview with Senator Harkin

Recently, Sen. Tom Harkin was asked to lead a working group given the task of crafting the prevention and public-health components of President-elect Obama's health-care-reform bill. As chairman of the subcommittee on appropriations and health, he's in a position to have a pivotal role in tackling the immense challenges the...

Feel Better, Live Longer

What really works to make sustainable changes in diet and lifestyle? It's probably not what you think. In over 30 years of conducting clinical research, I've learned that the real keys are pleasure, joy and freedom, not willpower, deprivation and austerity. Joy of living is sustainable; fear of dying is...

Something Good About the Economic Meltdown

"Having a heart attack was the best thing that ever happened to me," a patient once told me many years ago.

"How so?" I wondered.

"Well, that's what it took to get my attention--to begin making major changes in my life that have made me so much healthier...

The Never-Ending Diet Wars

A new study comparing the Atkins diet, a Mediterranean diet and a low-fat diet published on July 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), is likely to inspire headlines saying that the Atkins diet is better for your waistline and your health than a low-fat...

The Toxic Power of Racism

Like many of us, I was inspired by Sen. Barack Obama's recent eloquent speech on healing racial and other divisions in this country. His words resonated with my personal experiences. In 1981, for example, when my friend and I moved to Boston to start our medical internships at Massachusetts...

Forget About Willpower

I went to a holiday party last night and saw a friend I hadn't seen in a while.

"Hey, Woody--you look great! How did you manage to lose so much weight?"

"Well, I tried something radical: I'm eating less food. I realized that I liked looking good and feeling good...

Tortured Logic

"The end excuses any evil."
--Sophocles, "Electra" (409 B.C.)

"No man is justified doing evil on the grounds of expediency."
--Theodore Roosevelt, "The Strenuous Life" (1900)

Last week, I was having dinner with a good friend who is an extremely bright and thoughtful person. I shared with...

A Rational Response to the Name of "Evil"

When the U.S. claims the right to invade any country unilaterally and then defines a country like Iran or North Korea as "evil," then it is a rational response for these countries to develop nuclear weapons as the only military deterrent to invasion. We create what we most fear.

Globalization of Illness/Globalization of Health

A globalization of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity is occurring throughout the world. While heart disease is declining in developed countries, it is rising dramatically in developing countries that are beginning to copy our diet and lifestyle.

In short, they are starting to live like us and...