Professor Jonathan S. Berek is being honored with the IGCS Lifetime Achievement Award for more than four decades of outstanding service and dedication to gynecologic cancer treatment and research. With his achievements in surgical innovation, extensive research on immunology and immunotherapy, and his work to encourage effective and compassionate medical communication, he is an esteemed leader within the gynecologic cancer care community. During his time as IGCS President and Council Member, Professor Berek was instrumental in the development and success of our IGCS educational programs, as well as the growth of the society’s membership.
Professor Berek is an inspiration to many for his contributions to gynecologic oncology and for being an outspoken advocate for gynecologic cancer patients. His achievements in improving women’s health care have significantly improved gynecologic cancer care and treatment outcomes around the world. In addition to his medical career, he creates documentary films that highlight important medical topics, share patient stories, and raise awareness of patient concerns.
About Professor Berek
Jonathan S. Berek MD, MMSc, is the Laurie Kraus Lacob Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a past Fellow in the Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute. He helped establish and is the Director of the Stanford Women’s Cancer Center, which is one of the first programs in the United States to combine breast and gynecologic oncology with women’s cancer translational research, genetics, and supportive services programs. He serves as Senior Advisor, Stanford Cancer Institute, and was Chair of the Stanford Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 2005-2017.
A Stanford faculty member since 2005, he is renowned for his expertise in gynecologic oncology, surgical innovation and technique, and research in ovarian cancer, especially immunology and immunotherapy. His previous laboratory research focused on fundamental mechanisms of cancer immunology, elucidating growth regulatory pathways for cytokines and their receptors. His current research focuses on clinical trials of novel therapies and immunotherapies for ovarian cancer and collaborations on new diagnostics, screening techniques, and genetics.
Professor Berek received his undergraduate degree in English literature and theatre arts, and a Master of Medical Sciences degree in biomedical sciences from Brown University. After earning his Doctor of Medicine from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he completed an internship and residency at the Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and fellowship at UCLA. Before moving to Stanford, he was on the faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine for more than two decades, where he served as the Chair of the College of Applied Anatomy, Chief of Staff of the UCLA Medical Center, Departmental Executive Vice Chair, and Director of Gynecologic Oncology.
An author and editor, Professor Berek has published more than 360 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the scientific literature, and an equal number of book chapters and monographs. His books, Berek & Hacker’s Gynecologic Oncology, now in its 6th edition, and Berek & Novak’s Gynecology, in its 16th edition, are leading texts in the field. He serves as Editor-in-Chief for Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology and is the prior Editor-in-Chief of ASCO Connection.
Professor Berek has served at a top executive level of many national and international medical organizations, including the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS), the International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (FIGO), the Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup (GCIG), the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Professor Berek is Past President of the Council of University Chairs in Obstetrics & Gynecology. He is a Fellow in American Society of Clinical Oncologists (FASCO), American College of Surgeons (FACS), Society of Pelvic Surgeons (SPS), and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FACOG).
Professor Berek is a Past President of IGCS (2008-2010), the leading international organization for gynecologic cancer care. During his 8-year tenure on the Council, he was a major force behind the expansion of IGCS programs, the substantial increase in Society membership, and the facilitation of expanded fundraising programs that led to its greater financial stability. He was the host and organizer of the very successful 2006 IGCS meeting that was held in Santa Monica, California.
Professor Berek created and is the Executive Director of the Stanford Health Communication Initiative, which promotes educational and research programs in effective medical communication and health media that impacts outcomes and public policy. The initiative creates programs in compassionate medical communication and is part of the Stanford Center for Health Education.
In addition to his medical career, Professor Berek makes documentary films on a variety of medical topics that highlight patient stories and health issues. Through this activity, he has raised millions of dollars in charitable contributions for research at Stanford University. As the Director of MedArts Films, he is producing a series of films for the Stanford Office of Medical Development, Under One Umbrella, YouTube and 2U-GetSmarter. One of his documentary projects concerns crisis-intervention task forces used to mediate in mental health situations in several US cities.
In 2003, Professor Berek received the highly prestigious Sherman Mellinkoff Award from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In 2012, he was presented the John C. Fremont Pathfinder Award, given in recognition of significant contributions to society made by a native Nebraskan. Professor Berek is the 2019 Honoree of the American Cancer Society for a lifetime of achievement and his many accomplishments in women’s cancer treatment and research. The Jonathan S. Berek Fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology, which is supported by an endowment, was created this year at Stanford Medicine.