Ralph DeBerardinis, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief, Division of Pediatric Genetics and Metabolism

  • Joel B. Steinberg, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics
  • Sowell Family Scholar in Medical Research
  • Pediatrics - Genetics and Metabolism


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.

He has been included in D Magazine's Best Doctors list nearly every year since 2016.

About His Laboratory

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.

DeBerardinis Laboratory

Education & Training
  • Residency - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (2000-2005), Pediatrics & Medical Genetics
  • Medical School - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1992-2000)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2018)
  • Society for Pediatrics Research
  • Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders
  • American Society of Human Genetics
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
Honors & Awards
  • National Academy of Medicine 2020
  • Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research 2021
  • D Magazine Best Doctor, 2016, 2018-2022
  • D Magazine Best Pediatric Specialist 2020-2021
  • Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Medicine, The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas 2018
  • Robert L. Moody Sr. Faculty Scholar 2017
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar 2017
  • NCI Outstanding Investigator 2017
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Clinical Investigator Award 2011
  • William K. Bowes, Jr. Award in Medical Genetics 2008
  • Sowell Family Scholar in Medical Research 2008
  • Soc. for Inherited Metabolic Disorders Neil Buist Award 2008
  • President’s Research Council Distinguished Young Researcher Award 2008
  • CHOP Pediatric Scholars Program & Faculty Honor Roll 2007
Books & Publications
  • Metabolism
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Genetic disorders in children
  • Cancer