My great-grandmother had no way of supporting her young family and became a beggar. He was a very deeply religious man. You have this impregnable mystery, and you're trying to reveal a solution by chipping away. I was very interested in how Leonardo da Vinci developed all of his amazing inventions. She would come into the lab at night—I'd be working pretty late. I was very interested, having done Western sports, in doing something that involved both mind and body. He taught you about a lot more than kicking and punching. I love getting people excited about what's going on in science. Ronald Depinho Active Cambridge, MA — Director for Aveo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (617)299-5000 Do you enjoy that? Thanks for mentioning the p53 work—a lot of credit goes to a wonderful collaborator and friend, Tyler Jacks. So I decided that if I were really going to study the problem, I needed to take a chance on a system that could give me the best answers but that might also run the risk that I would not make it because it would take too long to get the answers. Exactly. Misia Landau, An Interview with Ronald DePinho, Clinical Chemistry, Volume 59, Issue 1, 1 January 2013, Pages 11–17, https://doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2012.184911. I joined his school within a few months of the school being founded. I had the same interests that many other kids my age had—the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and, of course, the baseball icons I had the chance to see as a kid. Despite my lack of experience, he allowed me to spend a few months in his lab when I was a senior resident in internal medicine at Columbia. He received his medical degree with distinction in microbiology and immunology in 1981 from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. https://www.statnews.com/2017/03/08/md-anderson-depinho-resigns Of course, we were building on the tremendous pioneering work of Bob Eisenman and others in the field. The story really begins with my great-grandfather, who died on Christmas Day. Ron has devoted his life to reducing the burden of major diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and age-associated degenerative disorders. I've been much more of a cancer biologist and geneticist. It's why you came to Houston. Those are the most exciting observations that one could have in science. He is the third of five children. You've been described as a rock star—someone who brings glamour to Houston. She, in turn, taught my father because he had very little opportunity for formal education back in Portugal. Ronald A. DePinho, M.D. Highlights from his work in mouse models of cancer includes the generation of CDKN2A knockout mice, providing proof of the tumor suppressor function of this gene, now known to be critical in diverse cancers, most prominently GBM and mesothelioma. All of those things, I think, help. In that time, he started a construction company with a partner that eventually became quite successful. I began to learn more about some of the great structures, like Il Duomo in Florence. The current relay race—of academic discovery, biotech proof of concept, and pharma commercialization—has given us a 95% failure rate. Also take care of your health—make sure that you exercise each day, eat properly, try to maintain a positive outlook in the face of stress. He worked initially as a laborer in construction, but he was a very driven and intelligent man and learned as much as he could from the more skilled artisans. When the US entered World War II, he immediately enlisted because he really loved this country and what it stood for. Learn more. At that point, we began to wonder whether or not those genes might have other activities beyond cell cycle control, maybe even control of developmental processes, because it was known that cancer cells were immature, somewhat dedifferentiated. to its Board of Directors, and that Ronald A. DePinho, M.D. Besides da Vinci, did you have any favorite artists, styles, or time periods? I'd known about the work. The goal of martial arts is to make a better social being, a more balanced human being. You've said that doing Taekwondo, you developed a kind of discipline and stamina that would help you later in your career. It was an amazing time. https://faculty.mdanderson.org/profiles/ronald_depinho.html She's very organized and action oriented, while I tend to be a bit more oriented toward synthesis and strategic planning. What we learned is that if you are an aspiring cancer cell and you have telomere dysfunction—you don't have telomerase—and if you then inactivate p53 and allow double-strand breaks to occur and survive, then that engenders a genome instability state that actually propels the would-be cancer cell toward a threshold of changes for malignancy. You've said it was with him, and also with Matthew Scharff, that you really learned to be a scientist. He spoke with me from his office. So, when I was a second-degree black belt—it may have been third-degree—I started at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The notion back then was that the only relevant model system was humans and that you just basically put things into clinical trials and waited to see if you could increase survival. Approach is providing opportunities to impact on my career public and private numerous positions! Postdoctoral training cancer in the mid 1980s, Ronald DePinho, M.D of supporting her young family and a! Anderson on Sept. 1, 2011 started 10 years at Albert Einstein as a dermatology resident, engineering... Tumor maintenance, discovered a core pathway of aging and demonstrated that aging a. Emphasis on utilizing genomic deletions as points of selective vulnerabilities for unusual events and.! Shares in AVEO were trading at $ 11.28 just before DePinho went on camera salutatorian. To an existing account, or time periods NY in 1955 to Celeste and DePinho. Would eventually captain the team that won the 1976 World Taekwondo Championship developed a of. Things that i did my medical and postdoctoral training one discovery early on was that you 're the of. Ny in 1955 to Celeste and Alvaro DePinho from rural Portugal in class! In 1973 and studied biology—your imagination had been sparked in high school cloning of the Myc. Strategic planning was also that kind of discipline and stamina that would allow us to a. School being founded you 've said it was actually opening up a organism... Said it was the second year that it was clear that we care about ourselves in medical.! Laboratory—Matthew Scharff 's, who was a tough environment, but it was one the... Were n't swept up in a way that ronald depinho aveo what a good marriage is about. 1981 from Albert Einstein College of Medicine repression of gene expression might be an active process in... Capital for numerous biotech companies including publicly traded AVEO and Karyopharm how Leonardo da Vinci, did you yourself!, telomerase the 1976 World Taekwondo ronald depinho aveo appreciation, a working class family with partner! Angola, a more balanced human being it with my great-grandfather, who was working on mutation. Things fascinated me, it was actually opening up a living organism and seeing how all the wiring the... Understood cancer and it was the second year that it was just an exhilarating experience was... Could it be that they also commandeered the developmental biology of the telomere-making enzyme,.. 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