Dr. Gerald Berke is Professor and the founding Chair of UCLA’s Department of Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Berke came to UCLA in 1979 to complete his surgical residency after graduating from both undergraduate and medical school at the University of Southern California. In 1984 Dr. Berke was appointed to the UCLA Division of Head and Neck Surgery as Assistant Professor and, in 1992, was given an accelerated promotion to Professor and Chief of the UCLA Division of Head and Neck Surgery. After 20 years as Division Chief, Dr. Berke became the first Chairman of the UCLA Department of Head and Neck Surgery in 2012. His primary clinical interests include laryngology, voice disorders, and oncology.
Dr. Berke is considered by his peers to be an international authority on laryngeal physiology. He has authored nearly 200 manuscripts based on laryngeal physiology and voice disorders and has mentored numerous residents and research fellows. Dr. Berke founded the UCLA Voice Center for Medicine and the Arts in 2004, the first of its kind on the West Coast. He also developed the only surgical treatment for spasmodic dysphonia, which affects 35,000 individuals in the U.S. annually, and brings patients from all over the world to UCLA. Dr. Berke also pioneered many of the techniques now used by laryngologists to treat patients in an office setting.
Dr. Berke served as president of the American Laryngeal Association – the oldest subspecialty society in the U.S. – and as president of the Triological Society, the nation’s primary academic society in otolaryngology. He is currently one of 16 directors on the American Board of Otolaryngology. He is a member of the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association and a member of the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Dr. Berke’s research has produced the foundation for an extraordinarily productive voice laboratory dedicated to the assessment of laryngeal function, laryngeal vibration studies and voice quality measures. Currently he is working on requirements for organ and nerve preservation for eventual laryngeal transplantation in humans. He also maintains an active practice in phonatory surgery and head and neck oncology.
If it weren’t for Dr. Berke, I wouldn’t be having a birthday today