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Pioneering Lifestyle Medicine

About Us

PMRI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public institute dedicated to research, education and service demonstrating how lifestyle medicine can often reverse, treat and prevent chronic diseases.


Our Mission

Our work is grounded in compassion and dedication to service. PMRI achieves its mission by:

  • Publishing research that informs the practice of medicine and allows the individual to take personal responsibility for their health.

  • Collaborating with leaders in the medical and scientific communities.

  • Educating and training health professionals and the public about preventive medicine and lifestyle medicine.

Since 1984

Transforming Lives Through Research

The Preventive Medicine Research Institute (PMRI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public organization established in 1984 by Dean Ornish, M.D. The institute is committed to conducting peer-reviewed scientific research and education rooted in compassion and service.

PMRI’s primary objective is to conduct groundbreaking research to assess the efficacy of lifestyle medicine—comprising dietary improvements, increased physical activity, stress reduction, and enhanced social connections—in often reversing and preventing the advancement of the most prevalent, expensive, and incapacitating chronic diseases. Utilizing state-of-the-art medical technologies, PMRI's research aims to validate the effectiveness of these low-tech lifestyle modifications. PMRI researchers were the first to demonstrate that such lifestyle changes can potentially reverse the progression of severe coronary heart disease, early-stage prostate cancer, and other chronic illnesses.

PMRI has published research in collaboration with Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, revealing that lifestyle changes can potentially lengthen telomeres, which regulate cellular aging. Additionally, research conducted in partnership with J. Craig Venter, the first to sequence the human genome, has shown that lifestyle changes can impact genes—activating hundreds of genes that promote health and deactivating hundreds of genes that predispose individuals to illness.

Continuing its tradition of innovation, PMRI has recently completed the first randomized controlled trial to ascertain if Alzheimer’s disease can be reversed through these lifestyle changes. For the first time, a randomized, controlled clinical trial demonstrated that an intensive lifestyle intervention (without drugs) may significantly improve cognition and function after 20 weeks in many patients with mild cognitive impairment or early dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. As there are presently no highly effective drugs for treating or preventing Alzheimer’s disease, the potential to reverse this condition through lifestyle modifications holds significant promise.

Furthermore, PMRI is dedicated to devising innovative means to make superior healthcare more accessible and cost-effective. Dr. Ornish’s lifestyle medicine program for reversing coronary heart disease was the first to attain Medicare coverage and is also reimbursed by numerous major insurance companies. The 9-week program is now available online, enabling participants to attend live synchronous classes from the comfort of their homes or any location of their choice. Patients undergoing this program have achieved substantial lifestyle changes, improved clinical outcomes, greater cost savings, and enhanced adherence beyond what was previously thought possible. PMRI's work is redefining possibilities, offering new hope and empowering options to millions of individuals.

Mission Spotlight

Evidence-Based. Reimbursed.

Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation

With better clinical outcomes, larger cost savings, bigger changes in lifestyle, and higher adherence and engagement, lifestyle medicine is reimbursed by Blue Shield of California, Medicare, Aetna, and many other commercial payers.

Press Release with Blue Shield of California


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  • Blue Shield of California logo

    Blue Shield of California

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