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Alan R. Berger, M.D.: Donation reflects his leadership roles in neurology and research

By Matt Galnor
September 2011

Alan R. Berger, M.D., has major roles in two key areas at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville: professor and chair of the neurology department, as well as associate dean for research.

So it's only fitting that when Berger decided to give back to the college with a $10,000 commitment, he designated the dollars for a neurology research fund.

Berger said he hopes the contribution will provide some seed money for faculty to get rolling on some projects. Specific projects that will use the dollars have not been chosen.

The financial donation is just the latest in a long line of Berger's contributions to growing the neurology department into one of the more renowned specialties on the Jacksonville campus.

He came on board in 1995, the second man in a two-person neurology department. Now, it has more than 15 doctors and Berger is co-director of the burgeoning Shands Jacksonville Neuroscience Institute, incorporating several leading physicians in their field.

"We were able to attract people that wanted to be architects," Berger said. "We charged them to go build programs from scratch, and they did."

Berger said he and others had the goal of creating a new neurology residency program. That program started in 2005 and, this year, there are 12 residents.

Berger became assistant dean of research in 2007, and associate dean in 2009. Last fiscal year, the College of Medicine helped secure more than $19 million in outside dollars for research and funded 225 projects. Almost 60% of research monies were related to federal funding.

Dr. Berger graduated from the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and completed an internal medicine internship at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in New York. He then completed a residency in neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y. Dr. Berger also did a fellowship in electromyography and neuromuscular disease at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

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