Daniel S. Berman, MD, is director of cardiac imaging at Cedars-Sinai and professor of medicine at UCLA. He received his medical degree at University of California, San Francisco, and then trained in internal medicine, nuclear medicine and cardiology at University of California, Davis. In 1977, he was recruited to Cedars-Sinai to initiate a new program in nuclear cardiology, one of the first of its kind in the U.S. Since then, his career has been devoted to clinical research in developing, validating and applying noninvasive cardiac imaging methods for the detection of coronary disease and for risk assessment of patients once the diagnosis of coronary disease has been made. To this end, Berman has built and led one of the most widely recognized groups in the field of cardiac imaging research over the last four decades. He is the author or co-author of over 900 original peer-reviewed manuscripts, including many that have been landmark articles in our nation’s most prestigious journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the European Heart Journal.
During his 40 years at Cedars-Sinai, Berman’s research work has been funded through numerous prestigious grants. He is currently co-investigator on multiple current National Institutes of Health grants, including three novel RO1 grants that address the use of multimodality imaging and/or the use of new radiotracers for identifying vulnerable coronary plaques. Well-recognized for his teaching, Berman has trained over 120 physicians in research fellowships of one year or more, many of whom have become academic leaders in cardiac imaging.
Additionally, Berman has established the most extensive prospective research database in cardiac imaging, currently ongoing and containing comprehensive clinical, imaging and outcome information for more than 100,000 consenting patients with cardiac SPECT, PET and coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), analyses of which have played a major role in shaping the way cardiac imaging is applied worldwide.
The focus of Berman’s career has been devoted to improving patient care through noninvasive cardiac imaging. The lifelong theme of his work has been threefold:
- To foster the technical development of cardiac imaging technologies.
- To develop quantitative techniques for image analysis, optimizing the information gained from the studies, providing objective analytic tools that would enhance their wide use in clinical practice. Recently, this quantitative work has focused on the assessment of CCTA, the development, quantitation and validation of F-18 fluoride PET/CT, and applications of machine learning for combining all available information.
- To develop and validate clinical applications of the methods for improving patient care.
Berman is credited with being among the first to embrace multimodality cardiac imaging as a specialty. Currently, the principal theme of his presentations has been value-based cardiac imaging. He lectures worldwide about the necessity of utilizing imaging methods to change patient management, which may improve outcomes or reduce costs.
Berman has received numerous honors, most notably the gifted teacher award (American College of Cardiology, 2000), the Mario Verani Award (American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, 2007), the Pioneer in Medicine Award (Cedars-Sinai, 2010) and the Georg Charles de Hevesy Nuclear Pioneer Award (Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 2012).