Dan E. Berkowitz, M.B.BCh, has been named chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at the UAB School of Medicine. He comes to UAB after 25 years at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he currently serves as the vice-chair for research in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care.
Berkowitz earned his medical degree from the University of Witwatersrand Medical School in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1984. After his medical internship at Coronation Hospital in Johannesburg and fellowship in Human Genetics, he emigrated to the US in 1987. He completed his anesthesia residency and fellowship in Cardiac Anesthesia at Duke University Medical Center. He subsequently joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Since then, he has served in many important leadership roles, particularly within the Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care and Biomedical Engineering, where he has mentored many successful clinician scientists. Berkowitz was the director of the Division of Cardiac Anesthesia before being promoted to the vice chair for research. Johns Hopkins recognized Berkowitz’s achievements and potential with a Richard S. Ross Clinician Scientist Award. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Physiologic Society, the Association of University Anesthesiologists and the Society for Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists.
Berkowitz directs an integrated vascular biology laboratory, which has been continuously funded by the NIH, NASA and the American Heart Association for the last 15 years. His laboratory research has focused on understanding the role of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle dysfunction in the pathobiology of vascular disease, as well as the development of novel therapies to treat vascular aging, atherosclerosis, pulmonary hypertension and radiation-induced injury. His entrepreneurial spirit was exercised with the co-founding of a biotech company focused on the development of novel therapies for vascular disease.
“I am exceedingly honored to have been selected to lead a uniquely talented faculty and department to even greater heights,” said Berkowitz. “I believe that we will continue to provide and expand outstanding clinical care services, and enhance our discovery and education missions at UAB Anesthesia.”
The UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine is a recognized leader in the fields of clinical anesthesia, graduate and postgraduate education and scientific inquiry through basic and translational research. The department employs more than 100 faculty members involved in the delivery of patient care and research activities, more than 90 residents and fellows and more than 60 staff members.
“Dr. Berkowitz is an outstanding fit for this leadership role,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS, senior vice president for medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. “His extensive leadership and laboratory experience will continue to strengthen and expand our already thriving Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. We are excited to have him join us in Birmingham.”
Berkowitz will officially begin at UAB on January 2, 2019.