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Noted Cancer Physician Nathaniel Berlin Dies at Age 87

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March 26, 2008
CHICAGO --- Nathaniel I. Berlin, M.D., of Aventura, Fla., a noted cancer researcher and former director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, died at age 87 March 5 at Aventura Hospital.

Dr. Berlin headed the cancer center from its founding in 1974 until he retired from Northwestern in 1987 as the Teuton Professor Emeritus of Medicine. He then served five years as deputy director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine and became professor emeritus of medicine in 1992.

Dr. Berlin was known as a pioneer in cancer research whose work established many of the medical profession's screening and treatment guidelines for cancer. He was a strong advocate for using mammograms as a breast cancer detection device.

He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in 1942 and an M.D. in 1945 and a Ph.D. in medical physics in 1949 from the University of California at Berkeley. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1949 and served four years.

After serving two years as a medical officer with the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Dr. Berlin joined the National Cancer Institute where he held several positions from 1956 to 1975, including chief of the metabolism service; chief of the general medicine branch; clinical director; scientific director of general laboratories and clinics; and director of the division of cancer biology and diagnosis.

Dr. Berlin was preceded in death by his wife Barbara in 1990. He is survived by a son, Marc of Aventura, and a daughter, Deborah Ligenza of Chicago.
Topics: People