David A. Berman, PhD, a distinguished emeritus professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and a fixture on the USC Health Sciences Campus for 60 years, passed away on Saturday, March 8. He was 96.
Berman earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Pharmacy and his PhD in Pharmacology at USC. He joined USC’s faculty in 1952, receiving more than 45 teaching awards during his tenure. He also sponsored several curriculum additions, including “Medicine in History, Literature and Art.”
When Berman turned 70 during the 1980s, USC faculty members were required to retire. Berman was able to continue teaching pharmacology to first- and second-year students by being rehired annually — hence his “emeritus” designation. He officially retired in June 2012.
The David A. Berman Pharmacology Achievement Award was established in his honor in 1997, and is presented annually to an outstanding pharmacology student.
“Being with students keeps you young — you pick up on their energy and excitement,” he said, in a Keck Medicine magazine article in January 2012. “It has always been a special moment when a student would come to me, introduce him or herself and say, ‘My mom or dad was in your class.’”
Berman is survived by his wife Miriam, two daughters and three grandchildren.
— By Amy E. Hamaker