Dr. Mitchel S. Berger, Chair of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco, is a nationally recognized expert in treating brain and spinal cord tumors, as well as tumor-related epilepsy in adults and children. He is also a specialist in brain mapping techniques, used to identify areas of motor, sensory, and language function during surgery, and an expert in the use of the Gamma Knife for tumor treatment. He is co-Director of the Adult Brain Tumor Surgery Program, Director of the Brain Tumor Research Center, Director of the Center for Neurological Injury and Repair, and Director of the Adult Hydrocephalus and Shunt Program. Dr. Berger also practices in the Neuro-Oncology Program and the Radiosurgery Program.
Dr. Berger earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard 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 Brain Tumor Research Center. He 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. His professional activities include his election to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and his appointment to the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Berger is board certified in neurosurgery.
His current research interests involve identifying molecular markers in gliomas as correlates of tumor progression and prognosis. This is done in conjunction with the Molecular Marker Core of the BTRC. Dr. Berger also works with Dr. Krys Bankiewicz to test small molecule inhibitors in brain tumors using the drug delivery technique convection enhanced delivery. In addition, he is a co-Investigator with Dr. John Park in UCSF’s Comprehensive Cancer Center to develop immunoliposome-directed targeted therapy for treating gliomas that express EGF receptors. Other collaborations include functional mapping localization of language pathways in the brain with Dr. Robert Knight and the Cognitive Neuroscience Graduate Program at UC Berkeley. Dr. Berger is currently the Principal Investigator of UCSF’s SPORE Brain Tumor Program, funded by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.