Nathan A. Berger, M.D., Hanna-Payne Professor of Experimental Medicine and director of Case Western Reserve University's Center for Science, Health and Society, is the 2007 recipient of the Frank and Dorothy Humel Hovorka Prize.
"The Frank and Dorothy Humel Hovorka Prize is awarded each year to recognize a faculty member whose exceptional achievements in teaching, research, and scholarly service have benefited the community, the nation, and the world. You have been recommended to receive this year's Hovorka Prize, and I agree that you are an excellent choice," Interim President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D. wrote in a letter to Berger.
A professor of medicine, biochemistry and oncology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Berger came to the university in 1983. In 2002, he was appointed as the Hanna-Payne Professor of Experimental Medicine and director of Case Western Reserve University's Center for Science, Health and Society, a collaboration between the university and the City of Cleveland that aims to improve the health of city residents through community outreach, health education and health policy programs. "His position…is an example of the positive way in which he has approached his role as a key leader in the School of Medicine," according to nominator Richard Hanson, Ph.D., Leonard and Jean Skeggs Professor of Biochemistry. The nomination letter touted Berger's knack for bringing people together, and highlighted examples such as his organizing a series of conferences to educate community leaders, as well as his involvement with Mini Med School, an adult learning series featuring lectures by nationally recognized faculty from the university.
Berger is an active researcher whose laboratory focuses on poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, DNA repair, stress proteins, and developmental therapeutics. He leads two major, interdisciplinary research initiatives, funded by the National Institutes of Health, one focused on Aging and Cancer, the other on Energetics and Cancer. Berger is the author of over 150 papers, reviews and book chapters on DNA damage and repair and developmental therapeutics. He served as director of the Cancer Research Center for ten years and dean of the Case School of Medicine for seven.
He has been honored as a "Million Dollar Professor" by the Case School of Medicine every year since 1996 in recognition of grants awarded to him by the National Institutes of Health. In addition, he is an inductee into the Cleveland Medical Hall of Fame, and a recipient of the Cancer Hall of Fame's Research Award from the American Cancer Society.
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.