Eliot Berson, MD, FARVO, passed away on Sunday, March 19, 2017. Dr. Berson was the William F. Chatlos Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and the founding director of the Berman-Gund Laboratory for the Study of Retinal Degenerations. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Kyra M. (Kaplan) Berson, a brother, Dr. Frank G. Berson and his wife Jill Marshall. He was the beloved son of the late Dr. H. Arthur and Annabelle (Bernstein) Berson.
Dr. Berson was an active ARVO member for 37 years and became an ARVO Gold Fellow in 2010. He received the prestigious Friedenwald Award in 1992 for his outstanding research in the field of ophthalmology.
Known for his important role in research to advance the understanding of potentially blinding diseases, Dr. Bersion is credited with the development of the first treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. In the 1960s, Dr. Berson discovered that electroretinography (ERG) could detect photoreceptor dysfunction years to a decade before vision starts to deteriorate in retinitis pigmentosa.