Alejandro Berenstein, MD
Interventional Neuroradiology, Radiology
Alejandro Berenstein, MD (Dr B.) is a Clinical Professor and Director of the Pediatric Cerebrovascular Program at the Mount Sinai Health System.
Dr. Berenstein was born in Mexico City in 1948 and graduated from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 1971. From 1973 to 1976, he completed a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at The Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was chief resident, and it was there that he started the field of what is now recognized as “Interventional Radiology,” or “Endovascular Surgery.” He performed the first catheter-based therapeutic embolization for a GI bleeder, following a gastrectomy, at The Mount Sinai Hospital in 1974 under the supervision of Harold Mitty, MD. After his residency, Dr. Berenstein did a fellowship in diagnostic Neuroradiology at NYU from 1976-1978, where he remained until 1996, becoming a tenured professor of Radiology and Neurosurgery in 1984 at the age of 36. In 1996 he established The Hyman-Newman Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Beth Israel Medical Center and became Clinical Professor of Radiology and Neurosurgery at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine. He is currently a Clinical Professor of Radiology, Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he is the Director of the Hyman-Newman Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Mount Sinai Health System and Director of Pediatric Endovascular Neurosurgery. Dr. Berenstein developed and pioneered the field of Interventional Radiology, specifically Interventional Neuroradiology, or “Surgical Neuroradiology.”
Within his clinical and research achievements, Dr. Berenstein established the first comprehensive center for the multidisciplinary treatment of head, neck and peripheral vascular lesions. He has contributed to 180 peer-reviewed publications, more than 40 chapters in the field, and 9 books, including the five-volume groundbreaking textbook Surgical Neuroangiography with co-authors Piere Lasjaunias, MD and Karel TerBurge, MD. Other achievements of his include ground-breaking, high-impact contributions in his field of expertise that extend from the description of the functional vascular anatomy of the brain, head, neck, spine and spinal cord to the understanding of the clinical presentation and description of the natural history of various vascular lesions such as Vein of Galen Malformations, spinal cord arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and maxillofacial vascular lesions, and innovative forms of treating them. He has developed multiple medical devises to treat vascular lesions throughout the body that are presently used all over the world, gaining him national and international recognition. His achievements are recognized throughout specialties such as Neurosurgery, Radiology, Neurology, ENT and Head and Neck Surgery, as well as Pediatrics and Interventional Cardiology.
Some of the more than 30 awards he has received include the Ramon y Cajal Award in Medicine for distinguished Latin American Physicians in 1989. In 1998, he received The First Cerebrovascular Luessenhop Award from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Joint Cerebrovascular Section for his contributions in cerebrovascular surgery. In 2001 he was awarded the Paolo Raimondi Award in Pediatric Neurological Surgery from the AANS/CNS Section of Pediatric Neurosurgery for his contributions to pediatric vascular neurosurgery, and is the only physician to have received both. In 2007 he was named Physician of the Year from the Vascular Birthmark Foundation for his work with children with vascular birth defects in the head and neck, and the applications of the techniques and treatments that he introduced throughout the body. In 2007 he received the Boston Scientific Neurovascular Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in research and clinical applications and was awarded the Heart of New York Stroke Spotlight Award from the American Heart and Stroke Association in 2008 for his contribution to the management of patients with hemorrhaging strokes. Dr. Berenstein is an Honorary Member of the Japanese Society of Neuroendovascular Therapy. In 2009 he received the most prestigious international award in Endovascular Neurosurgery, the first Serbinenko Golden Sign Award in Neurosurgery, in Moscow.
Dr. Berenstein’s educational and training accomplishments include the development of the first fellowship program in Surgical Neuroangiography in the USA; he was the first to train individuals coming from different primary specialties such as Radiology, Neurosurgery and Neurology. Dr. Berenstein has been a lecturer, visiting professor and guest speaker throughout the world on over 600 occasions. Dr. Alex Berenstein was a TEDMED lecturer in 2010.
In his impact on education, innovation and pioneering a new specialty in medicine, Dr. Berenstein became the first president of the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology and third president of the American Society of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology, as well as President of SILAN the Latin-American Society of Neuroradiology in 2011.
Watch Dr. Alex Berenstein's TEDMED Talk
Dr. Berenstein discusses how modern science can navigate inside our arteries to fix complications in amazing ways.
- From Day 6 to Year 6: Read about how Dr. Berenstein cured a child of his vein of Galen malformation with 16 neuroendovascular embolizations over the course of six years, with assistance from Dr. Johanna T. Fifi and Dr. Tomoyoshi Shigematu, in the 2020 Neurology & Neurosurgery Specialty Report
- Mount Sinai Beth Israel
- The Mount Sinai Hospital
- Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West