Dr. Brenda Banwell, Division Chief of Neurology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, shared the sad news with us this morning that Dr. Peter Berman passed away Thursday evening after a massive myocardial infarction.

Dr. Berman was the 16th President of the Child Neurology Society (1991-93), past President of the Professors of Child Neurology, and in 2002 received the Society's highest honor, the Hower Award, at the 31st Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Dr. Berman noted in his opening comments how humbled and amazed he was to have served as CNS President between two giants in the field, Darryl De Vivo and Joseph Volpe, and how honored he was to deliver the his award lecture the day following the Sachs Lecture presented by Francis Collins.


A gathering in Dr. Berman's memory is planned for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at his residence. Dr. Berman is to be cremated. There will be no burial.

Donations may be made to the Philadelphia School, c/o Genvieve Goldstein, Associate Director of Development, 2501 Lombard St., Philadelphia 19146.

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A formal tribute will be posted on the CNS website in the near future. Until then, we will share with you a brief profile published in the Fall 2002 CNS Newsletter on the occasion of Dr. Berman’s Hower Award Lecture at the 31st Annual CNS Meeting in Washington, DC:


Few sights are more familiar and welcome at Child Neurology Society annual meetings than that of Peter Berman walking the halls, perusing poster displays, conversing with longtime colleagues, or greeting one of dozens of former trainees who have gone on to play a prominent role in the continued growth and good fortune of the Society he helped found as a charter member in 1972. Equally familiar is the sight of Peter’s commanding presence at the podium, a place he has occupied many times as featured speaker, President of the Professors of Child Neurology (1986-88) and 16th President of the CNS (1991-93). This year's meeting  marks his return to a prominent place on the podium as he delivers Saturday's Hower Award Lecture, “Workforce Issues in Child Neurology for the 21st Century: Are We Approaching Crisis?".

Born in 1931 in Vienna, Austria, Peter followed a path leading to his quarter-century tenure as Chief of the Division of Neurology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia that included stops at NYU, the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, and Harvard. A prodigious researcher and author, Peter has published numerous important peer-reviewed articles in such diverse areas as: Initial clinical trials of live polio vaccine (with Albert Sabin); Classic neuropathology of neonatal meningitis, Metabolic abnormalities in Lesch-Nyhan disease; Correlation of measles and SSPE; Relationship of rickets and anti-epileptic dDrugs; Diagnostic value of EMG in infantile hypotonia; Steroid responsive chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy; Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy in Duchenne dystrophy; and Prognosis of neonatal seizures.

It is perhaps his legacy as an outstanding teacher and mentor that is best remarked on and will be most evident at the meeting, where one could anticipate picking out over 30 former trainees listening in on his lecture, including the organizers of two of this year's satellite seminars—Tracy Glauser and Marcy Yonker, a past Young Investigator Award winner, Amy Brooks-Kayal, and introducing him at the podium, a former CNS Councillor and member of Peter's first group of child neurology residents at CHOP, Barry Russman.