The Berson Memorial Lecture was established to perpetuate the memory of a great scientist, Dr. Solomon Berson (Figure 1), who died tragically at age 53, just 5 years before Dr. Rosalyn Yalow received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their development of the radioimmunoassay. I am deeply honored to have been selected to be the first Berson Memorial Lecturer, but for me the award has a special significance that transcends the honor itself. This is because, in my eyes, Berson was more than the legendary figure whose brilliance as a scientist, clinician, mathematician, and classical musician won him the admiration and affection of his colleagues. To me, he was a special kind of friend, one who set the course of my research career.

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