Top UCLA gynecological oncologist named to chair Stanford ob-gyn department

Jonathan S. Berek

A picturesque ride up the coast is all that stands between Jonathan S. Berek, MD, and his next endeavor. In December, the UCLA gynecological oncologist will head north to become the new chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the School of Medicine.

Berek is currently chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology, executive vice chair of the UCLA Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and chair of the College of Applied Anatomy for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has spent more than two decades at UCLA but said he looks forward to taking on his new role at Stanford.

"Stanford is an outstanding institution, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has enormous potential to build on an established reputation and achievement," said Berek. "I look forward to expanding and strengthening the Stanford program devoted to the study and delivery of health care for women."

Berek is highly regarded for his research on the clinical management of gynecologic cancers, and he is well known for his work on two major textbooks, Practical Gynecologic Oncology and Berek & Novak's Gynecology. His current research focuses on the development of monoclonal antibodies and novel strategies for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Philip Pizzo, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, said he was thrilled by Berek's decision to come to Stanford. "He is an outstanding leader, physician and clinical investigator," he said. "He is a highly regarded teacher with a very strong commitment to medical education, and we are lucky to have him."

Under Berek's leadership, Pizzo said, the department will expand programs in gynecological oncology, minimally invasive surgery and, in conjunction with the urology department, pelvic reconstruction. Berek, who has been a strong advocate for women's health throughout his career, will also play a key role in Women's Health at Stanford, a multidisciplinary initiative dedicated to promoting wellness and preventing illness in women.

Along with his position at the medical school, Berek will serve as chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. "We look forward to Dr. Berek's leadership in expanding the outstanding services Stanford offers women," said Martha Marsh, hospital president and CEO.

Berek received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and his fellowship in gynecologic oncology at UCLA.

He has published more than 400 research papers, book chapters and monographs, and he has served on many national committees and editorial boards. Berek is the editor-in-chief of Current Problems in Obstetrics and Gynecology and ASCO News & Forum, and the senior editor of International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer. His many honors include the President's Award from the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists.

Berek succeeds Mary Lake Polan, MD, PhD, who served as department chair for 15 years and is currently completing a sabbatical at Columbia University.