Berger Named to Lead Two National Neurosurgical Organizations

Mitch Berger

Mitch Berger, MD, chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery, was recently selected to lead two prestigious organizations in the field of neurosurgery. Berger was elected to the board of directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and was appointed to the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 7,200 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. The organization plays a key role in leading the field. "The AANS and I have been benefiting from Dr. Berger's advice and counsel in many ways over the years, most recently through his role as the physician chair responsible for developing programming for the two most successful annual scientific meetings in the organization's history," said Tom Marshall, executive director, AANS. "I am personally very grateful and excited to have Dr. Berger's keen insight and perspective in assisting leadership and management in guiding the AANS' policy for the next several years as a member of our board." Appointed to the American Board of Neurological Surgery, Berger will be part of a small group of academic leaders who dictate policy with regard to board certification for all neurosurgeons in the country. Nationally recognized for his expertise in treating brain and spinal cord tumors and tumor-related epilepsy in adults and children, Berger also is a specialist in brain mapping techniques used to identify areas of motor, sensory and language function to avoid injury during surgery, and is an expert in the use of the Gamma Knife for tumor treatment. At UCSF, he is co-director of the Adult Brain Tumor Surgery Program, director of the Brain Tumor Research Center and director of the Center for Neurological Injury and Repair. In addition to his clinical practice, Berger is the principal investigator of two National Cancer Institute grants: the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for research into improving diagnosis, prognosis and therapy of brain tumors and the program project grant investigating imaging surrogate markers of brain tumors. Berger also serves as administrative core director of research into the molecular and cellular biology of pediatric brain tumors. He is the recipient of numerous National Institutes of Health grants, which provide support for the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center. Berger earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1975 and a medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1979. He completed an internship and residency at UCSF and was awarded a clinical fellowship in neuro-oncology by the American Cancer Society and a research fellowship with the UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center. Berger completed further fellowship training in neuro-oncology at UCSF and in pediatric neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children of the University of Toronto, Canada. Berger is board-certified in neurosurgery. He joined the faculty of UCSF as chair of Neurological Surgery in 1997.