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Ralph DeBerardinis earned a B.S. in biology from St. Joseph's University and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He performed his Ph.D. research on mammalian retrotransposons with Haig H. Kazazian, Jr. Dr. DeBerardinis was the first trainee in the combined residency program in pediatrics and medical genetics at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and received several awards for teaching and clinical care. He ultimately achieved board certification in pediatrics, medical genetics, and clinical biochemical genetics.

Dr. DeBerardinis performed postdoctoral research in Craig Thompson's laboratory at the Penn Cancer Center from 2004 to 2007. He joined the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2008 and joined Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) in 2011. Dr. DeBerardinis serves as Chief of Pediatric Genetics and Metabolism at UT Southwestern and Director of CRI's Genetic and Metabolic Disease Program.

Dr. DeBerardinis received Outstanding Investigator Awards from the National Cancer Institute in 2017 and 2023, and he was named an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2018. He received the Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Medicine from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas in 2019 and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research in 2021. Dr. DeBerardinis holds the Joel B. Steinberg, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics, and he is a Sowell Family Scholar in Medical Research and a Robert L. Moody Faculty Scholar. In 2020, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

The DeBerardinis laboratory is interested in the role of altered metabolic states in human diseases, particularly pediatric inborn errors of metabolism and cancer. This research is tightly integrated with clinical activities in medical genetics, oncology, and radiology, providing seamless opportunities to examine the relevance of findings in patients.



Medical School
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (2000)
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (2005), Pediatrics & Medical Genetics

Research Interest

  • Cancer
  • Genetic disorders in children
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Metabolism


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Comprehensive isotopomer analysis of glutamate and aspartate in small tissue samples.
Cai F, Bezwada D, Cai L, Mahar R, Wu Z, Chang MC, Pachnis P, Yang C, Kelekar S, Gu W, Brooks B, Ko B, Vu HS, Mathews TP, Zacharias LG, Martin-Sandoval M, Do D, Oaxaca KC, Jin ES, Margulis V, Malloy CR, Merritt ME, DeBerardinis RJ, Cell Metab 2023 Aug
In vivo characterization of glutamine metabolism identifies therapeutic targets in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Kaushik AK, Tarangelo A, Boroughs LK, Ragavan M, Zhang Y, Wu CY, Li X, Ahumada K, Chiang JC, Tcheuyap VT, Saatchi F, Do QN, Yong C, Rosales T, Stevens C, Rao AD, Faubert B, Pachnis P, Zacharias LG, Vu H, Cai F, Mathews TP, Genovese G, Slusher BS, Kapur P, Sun X, Merritt M, Brugarolas J, DeBerardinis RJ, Sci Adv 2022 Dec 8 50 eabp8293
In vivo isotope tracing reveals a requirement for the electron transport chain in glucose and glutamine metabolism by tumors.
Pachnis P, Wu Z, Faubert B, Tasdogan A, Gu W, Shelton S, Solmonson A, Rao AD, Kaushik AK, Rogers TJ, Ubellacker JM, LaVigne CA, Yang C, Ko B, Ramesh V, Sudderth J, Zacharias LG, Martin-Sandoval MS, Do D, Mathews TP, Zhao Z, Mishra P, Morrison SJ, DeBerardinis RJ, Sci Adv 2022 Sep 8 35 eabn9550
Compartmentalized metabolism supports midgestation mammalian development.
Solmonson A, Faubert B, Gu W, Rao A, Cowdin MA, Menendez-Montes I, Kelekar S, Rogers TJ, Pan C, Guevara G, Tarangelo A, Zacharias LG, Martin-Sandoval MS, Do D, Pachnis P, Dumesnil D, Mathews TP, Tasdogan A, Pham A, Cai L, Zhao Z, Ni M, Cleaver O, Sadek HA, Morrison SJ, DeBerardinis RJ, Nature 2022 04 604 7905 349-353
Guanosine triphosphate links MYC-dependent metabolic and ribosome programs in small-cell lung cancer.
Huang F, Huffman KE, Wang Z, Wang X, Li K, Cai F, Yang C, Cai L, Shih TS, Zacharias LG, Chung A, Yang Q, Chalishazar MD, Ireland AS, Stewart CA, Cargill K, Girard L, Liu Y, Ni M, Xu J, Wu X, Zhu H, Drapkin B, Byers LA, Oliver TG, Gazdar AF, Minna JD, DeBerardinis RJ, J Clin Invest 2021 Jan 131 1
Tumor Microenvironment, Metabolism, and Immunotherapy.
DeBerardinis RJ, N Engl J Med 2020 02 382 9 869-871
Metabolic heterogeneity confers differences in melanoma metastatic potential.
Tasdogan A, Faubert B, Ramesh V, Ubellacker JM, Shen B, Solmonson A, Murphy MM, Gu Z, Gu W, Martin M, Kasitinon SY, Vandergriff T, Mathews TP, Zhao Z, Schadendorf D, DeBerardinis RJ, Morrison SJ, Nature 2020 01 577 7788 115-120
Metabolic Diversity in Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells.
Chen PH, Cai L, Huffman K, Yang C, Kim J, Faubert B, Boroughs L, Ko B, Sudderth J, McMillan EA, Girard L, Chen D, Peyton M, Shields MD, Yao B, Shames DS, Kim HS, Timmons B, Sekine I, Britt R, Weber S, Byers LA, Heymach JV, Chen J, White MA, Minna JD, Xiao G, DeBerardinis RJ, Mol. Cell 2019 Sep
Mechanisms and Implications of Metabolic Heterogeneity in Cancer.
Kim J, DeBerardinis RJ, Cell Metab. 2019 Sep 30 3 434-446
Functional Assessment of Lipoyltransferase-1 Deficiency in Cells, Mice, and Humans.
Ni M, Solmonson A, Pan C, Yang C, Li D, Notzon A, Cai L, Guevara G, Zacharias LG, Faubert B, Vu HS, Jiang L, Ko B, Morales NM, Pei J, Vale G, Rakheja D, Grishin NV, McDonald JG, Gotway GK, McNutt MC, Pascual JM, DeBerardinis RJ, Cell Rep 2019 Apr 27 5 1376-1386.e6

Honors & Awards

  • Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research
  • National Academy of Medicine
  • Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Medicine
  • Best Pediatric Specialists/Doctors in Dallas
    D Magazine (2016) (2018)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar
  • NCI Outstanding Investigator
  • Robert L. Moody, Sr. Faculty Scholar
  • Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Clinical Investigator Award
  • President’s Research Council Distinguished Young Researcher Award
  • Soc. for Inherited Metabolic Disorders Neil Buist Award
  • Sowell Family Scholar in Medical Research
  • William K. Bowes, Jr. Award in Medical Genetics
  • CHOP Pediatric Scholars Program & Faculty Honor Roll
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation (2013)
  • American Society of Human Genetics
  • Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2018)
  • National Academy of Medicine (2020)
  • Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders
  • Society for Pediatrics Research