Bruce Berkowitz

Bruce Berkowitz

7327 Scott Hall, Anatomy Medicine, Detroit, 48202

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Bruce Berkowitz


  • Director of Small Animal MRI Facility
  • Participates in teaching embryology and histology to MS1 students
  • Co-course Director and teacher of Biology of the Eye (undergraduate)
  • Participates in Biomedical Engineering course
  • Directed study mentor for undergraduate and medical students
  • Ph.D. mentor for graduate students
  • National Seminar speaker

Research Educator, Full time, PhD, Histology and Cell Biology, Embryology

Research Interests

 Neuroscience - Vision

Treatments for retinal diseases that cause vision loss and blindness, such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, could be more rapidly developed and evaluated if a patient�s response to therapy could be predicted earlier in the course of the disease than is currently possible. To this end, we have developed functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques that measure a variety of aspects of retinal physiology including its ionic regulation using manganese-enhanced MRI (MEMRI). In preclinical models of retinopathy, well before the appearance of retinal lesions, we find a significantly changes in MEMRI patterns that respond well to treatment and may represent new therapeutic targets for intervention. Visual performance also appears to be function of retinal ion regulation. These data highlight the potential of functional MRI measurements to serve as a powerful early surrogate marker of treatment response in retinopathy.


  1. Berkowitz, B.A. and Roberts, R., Prognostic MRI Surrogates of Treatment Efficacy for Retinopathy, NMR in Biomed. 21:957-67, 2008.
  2. Berkowitz, B.A., Roberts, R., Goebel, D., and Hongmei, L., Non-invasive and simultaneous imaging of layer-specific functional activation of the retina, Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 47: 2668-2674, 2006.
  3. Berkowitz, B.A., Gradianu, M., Schafer, S., Jin, Y., Porchia, A., Iezzi, R., Roberts, R., Ionic dysregulatory phenotyping of pathologic retinal thinning with manganese-enhanced MRI, Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 49:3178-84, 2008.
  4. Berkowitz, B.A., Roberts, R., Oleske, D.A., Chang, M., Schafer, S., Bissig, D., Gradianu, M., Quantitative mapping of ion channel regulation by visual cycle activity in rodent photoreceptors in vivo, Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 50:1880-5, 2009.
  5. Bissig, D., Berkowitz, B.A., Manganese-Enhanced MRI of Layer-specific Activity in the Visual Cortex from Awake and Free-moving Rats, Neuroimage 44:627-35, 2009.

Awards and Honors

  1.  Scholars in Vision Science, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 2009.
  2. Inaugural Class Of ARVO Fellows; Silver level, 2009. 3. Awarded the 2008/9 NeuroImage Editors' choice award (Anatomy and Physiology section) for best paper of the year.
  3. Invited speaker, Vanderbilt Eye Institute symposium " Biomarkers and Eye Disease”, 2010.
  4. Member of steering committee, Translational Neuroscience Program, 2011 – 2013.
  5. Invited participate, Lasker/IRRF Initiative on Diabetic Retinopathy, 2012.
  6. Member of the Microscopy, Imaging and Cytometry Resources Advisory Committee, Karmanos Cancer Institute, 2012 – present.
  7. Invited to be on Editorial Board of Investigational Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 2012 – present.
  8. National Medical Research Council international expert panel, Ministry of Health, Singapore, 2012 – 2014.
  9. Invited speaker, Association for Research in Otolaryngology 36th Annual MidWinter Meeting, 2013.
  10. Invited tutorial speaker for the 3rd International Summer School on Biomedical Image Analysis, 22-27 July 2013 in Shenyang, China.
  11. Invited speaker, "Imaging and Neuroscience of TBI", WSU BME, 2013.
  12. ARVO Fellow; Gold level, 2013.
  13. Invited symposium speaker, 25th anniversary of Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics, NIH, 2014.

Continuously funded since 1992. More than 100 publications in peer reviewed journals.

Laboratory Web Site

Berkowitz Lab