Dr. Dean Ornish is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF and Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSD. He 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 44 years, he 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. Medicare created a new benefit category, “intensive cardiac rehabilitation,” to provide coverage for this program. His 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 controlled study showing that these lifestyle changes may begin to reverse cellular aging by lengthening telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes which regulate aging (in collaboration with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel Laureate in Medicine & Physiology).
He is the author of seven books, all national bestsellers including his latest book: UnDo It! (co-authored with Anne Ornish). His three main-stage TED.com talks have been viewed by over six million people.
In 1996 at the age of 37, Dr. Jill experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain. On the afternoon of this rare form of stroke (AVM), she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. It took eight years for Dr. Jill to completely rebuild her brain to recover all physical, emotional, and thinking abilities.
Dr. Jill is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey and Whole Brain Living: The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Our Life.
In 2008, Dr. Jill gave a presentation about her experience with stroke at the TED Conference in Monterey, CA, which was the first TED talk to ever go viral which catapulted her into the public eye. She was chosen as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, she was the premiere guest on Oprah’s Soul Series webcast, and My Stroke of Insight became a New York Times bestseller and remained on the list for 63 weeks.
Dr. Laura Esserman, MBA, an internationally recognized breast surgeon, breast oncology specialist, and visionary in personalized medicine, is revolutionizing breast cancer screening and treatment throughout our nation today. Her breast cancer work spans a spectrum from basic science to public policy issues and the impact of both on the delivery of clinical care. She is a provocative thought leader calling attention to, and finding solutions for, over-diagnosis and over-treatment of breast cancer, especially of DCIS.
Since 2002, Dr. Esserman has led the I-SPY TRIALS, a ground-breaking national public-private collaboration among NCI, FDA, more than 20 cancer research centers, and major pharma and biotech companies. This trial model, which has now become an international model for translational research, is designed to shave several years and tens of millions of dollars off the drug development process. The trial paradigm is now being developed for use in other disease domains.
Additionally, Dr. Esserman led the creation of the University of California-wide Athena Breast Health Network, a learning system designed to integrate clinical care and research as it follows 150,000 women from screening through treatment and outcomes. As part of the network, she has spearheaded the development of the WISDOM study to learn how to improve breast cancer screening by testing and comparing the safety and efficacy of a personalized screening strategy informed by each woman’s breast cancer risk and preferences against the standard of annual screening.
Dr. Esserman has published more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and is regularly consulted by prestigious scientific, business, and consumer media. She was included as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2016, and she also received the 2018 Giant of Cancer Care® in Cancer Diagnostics award.
David Ewing Duncan is an award-winning journalist in print, television, and radio; the best-selling author of ten books published in 21 languages; and an entrepreneur. His most recent book is Talking to Robots: Tales from our Human-Robot Futures. David recently wrote a series on COVID-19 for Vanity Fair, which has been seen by millions of readers. David is CEO of Arc Fusion, and a frequent contributor to Vanity Fair, Wired, MIT Technology Review, The New York Times, Atlantic, and others.
He is a former commentator for NPR's Morning Edition, and a special correspondent and producer for ABC’s Nightline. He is the founding director, Center of Life Science Policy at UC Berkeley. His books include When I'm 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension, and What Happens If It Succeeds (Ted books), Experimental Man: What One Man's Body Reveals about His Future, Your Health, and Our Toxic World, and global bestseller Calendar: Humanity’s epic struggle to determine a true and accurate year. He is a former special health advisor to IDEO.
David’s awards include Magazine Story of the Year from AAAS and nominations for two National Magazine Awards. He has served on special communications committees at the National Academies of Science and is on the faculty of Singularity University. He lives in Boston and San Francisco and is a member of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto.
Carl Honoré is a bestselling author, broadcaster and the voice of the Slow Movement. His two main-stage TED Talks have racked up millions of views. His TED Course is entitled How to slow down.
Carl travels the world to deliver powerful keynotes that put time and tempo in a whole new light. Carl’s first book, In Praise of Slow, chronicles the global trend toward putting on the brakes in everything from work to food to parenting. His book Under Pressure explores how to raise and educate children in a fast world and was hailed by Time as a “gospel of the Slow Parenting movement.” And his book Slow Fix, explores how to tackle complex problems in every walk of life, from health and relationships to business and politics, without falling for superficial, short-term quick fixes.
Published in 35 languages, his books have landed on bestseller lists in many countries. In Praise of Slow was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and the inaugural choice for the Huffington Post Book Club. It also featured in a British TV sitcom, Argentina’s version of Big Brother and a TV commercial for the Motorola tablet.
Carl featured in a series for BBC Radio 4 called The Slow Coach in which he helped frazzled, over-scheduled people slow down. He presented a television show called Frantic Family Rescue on Australia’s ABC 1. He also spent three years on the Board of Trustees of Hewitt School in New York City.
Erica Wides is a chef, writer, and media host from Brooklyn, NY. She’s been in the food business for over 20 years, working in several of New York’s finest restaurants, including Arcadia, Zoe, Savoy and the China Grill, and then as a Senior Chef-Instructor at The Institute of Culinary Education for 15 years.
She is the creator and host of Let’s Get Real; the cooking show about finding, preparing and eating FOOD on the Heritage Radio Network. She is also a columnist for the Huffington Post and NuMi, and has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, the Food Network’s Top 5 and Chopped, Home Shopping Network, PBS, Sirius Radio, NPR, and presented at TEDxBerkeley.
Erica is the owner of Chefsmartypants LLC, a restaurant consultancy, developing menus and concepts for clients from idea to opening. She is also a commercial and voiceover actor.