Mitchel S. Berger M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.N.S. is the Berthold and Belle N. Guggenhime Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and is an expert in the fields of neurosurgery and neuro-oncology. He also serves as Director of UCSF’s Brain Tumor Research Center.
After graduating from Harvard University in 1974, Dr. Berger earned his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He completed a clinical fellowship in neuro-oncology at UCSF, a fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children of the University of Toronto, and his neurosurgical residency at UCSF. In 1986, he became Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine, after which he was named Associate Professor (1990) and Professor (1996).
Dr. Berger has clinical expertise in treating adult and pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors. He is a pioneer of intraoperative brain mapping - a technique used to avoid functional areas of the brain during surgical resection of a tumor. His work has enabled surgeons to perform more extensive resection of tumor with less chance of producing sensorimotor or language deficit.
Dr. Berger is a leader of translational research and is the Principal Investigator of the UCSF Brain Tumor Research Center’s Specialized Program of Research Excellence in neuro-oncology, funded by the National Cancer Institute. His specific research interests lie in identifying molecular markers related to the progression and prognosis of glial tumors, as well as the development of small-molecule therapeutic agents that can be administered directly to the brain via convection-enhanced drug delivery.
During his distinguished career, Dr. Berger has served as President of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, President of the Society of Neuro-Oncology, President of the North Pacific Society of Neurology, and Vice President of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. He has also been a director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He is currently President of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery.
In 2009, Dr. Berger was awarded the prestigious Winn Prize by the Society for Neurological Surgery. He currently serves as a member of the National Football League Head, Neck and Spine Committee, focusing on retired players’ issues and examining the consequences of repetitive head injury and concussion. He is also an active member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Organization for Cancer Research, the American College of Surgeons, and the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies.
A prolific author, Dr. Berger has contributed over 500 scientific articles to peer-reviewed journals, has edited 6 textbooks, and has written over 80 chapters on various neurosurgical topics. He is currently on the editorial boards of several leading journals including Neuro-Oncology and Neurosurgery.
Dr. Michael Weller has been Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, since 2008. He qualified in medicine in Cologne, Germany, after completing his thesis on proliferative disorders of the retina. A postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Clinical Immunology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, followed where he identified death receptor targeting as a potential treatment strategy for malignant gliomas. In 2005, he was appointed Chairman of the Department of General Neurology at the University Hospital Tübingen, Germany, where he had previously received his education in clinical neurology.
Dr. Weller has received several awards in recognition of his contributions to cancer research, including the German Cancer Award in 2007. He served as Chairman of the Neuro-Oncology Group of the German Cancer Society from 2001-2008. He is the Chairman of the German Glioma Network of the German Cancer Council, joined the Executive Board of the European Association for Neuro-Oncology (EANO) in 2010 and was elected President of EANO for 2014-2016. He is also the Chairman of the Brain Tumor Group of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).
Dr. Weller was involved in major practice-changing clinical trials including the registration trial for temozolomide in glioblastoma and served as PI on the NOA-03, NOA-04, NOA-08 and G-PCNSL-SG-1 trials in Germany and the DIRECTOR and ARTE trials in Switzerland . He is also a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Neurochemistry, Journal of Neuro-Oncology, Brain and Glia, and he was the Associate Editor Europe of Neuro-Oncology from 2006-2013.
Dr. Weller has co-authored more than 550 original publications in peer-reviewed journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Nature, Nature Medicine, Lancet Oncology, PNAS, The Journal of Clinical Investigation, and The Journal of Clinical Oncology.