Charles S. Berenson MD

Charles Berenson

Charles S. Berenson

Professor of Medicine

Department of Medicine

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

Immunology; Infectious Disease

Contact Information
VA Western New York Healthcare System
Research (151)
3495 Bailey Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14215
Phone: (716) 862-6529
Fax: (716) 862-6526

Patient Care

This faculty member is affiliated with UBMD, practicing physicians who are also professors in the Jacobs School.

View this physician on UBMD

Professional Summary:

My patient care and teaching responsibilities are centered at the Veterans Administration hospital where I care for hospitalized patients and maintain an active outpatient clinic. I enjoy teaching medical students and residents in both lecture and small group settings. In addition, my laboratory is open to interested undergraduate, graduate and medical students and residents seeking to gain a research experience.

Research interests of my laboratory focus on two key areas of the function of specialized immune cells called macrophages. Our first area of interest concentrates on the immunologic roles of mammalian macrophage gangliosides. Gangliosides are unique molecules that hold diverse regulatory roles as receptors and as mediators of cell differentiation in cells of most species. Our studies encompass ganglioside regulation of macrophage inflammatory responses, ganglioside-associated alterations of the architecture of macrophage cell membranes in HIV-infected individuals, and the function of macrophage gangliosides as receptors for bacterial pathogens and toxins. This work will lead to a better understanding of mechanisms of macrophage activation, to permit manipulation of host immune responses.

Our second area of interest centers on the regulation of inflammatory responses of human alveolar macrophages by respiratory bacterial pathogens and bacterial antigens that contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Studies encompass defining the repertoire of inflammatory mediators of human alveolar and blood-derived macrophages regulated by bacterial pathogens and characterizing bacteria-regulated immunologic properties of macrophages, in patients with COPD. These investigations into fundamental mechanisms of dysfunctional immune responses of macrophages underlying the progression of COPD are providing the basis for designing novel and more effective therapies.

Education and Training:

  • Fellowship, Yale University School of Medicine (1987)
  • Residency, Internal Medicine Residency, University of Michigan Medical School (1983)
  • MD, University at Buffalo (1980)


  • Residency Program Director, Infectious Diseases (2000-2023), Medicine, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Awards and Honors:

  • Louis A. and Ruth Siegel Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015)
  • Clinical Teaching Excellence Award (2011)
  • "White Coat" Award for Teaching Excellence (2002)
  • Department of Medicine Research Award (2001)
  • UB Department of Medicine Research Award (2001)
  • "White Coat" Award for Teaching Excellence (1997)
  • Clinical Teaching Excellence Award (1992)

Research Expertise:

  • Haemophilus influenzae pathogenesis
  • Immunoregulatory roles of macrophage ganglioside
  • Role of alveolar macrophages in the pathogenesis of respiratory tract infections

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • March 2017–March 2020
    ECOSPOR III- A Phase 2 Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of SER-109 vs. Placebo to Reduce Recurrence of Clostridium difficile – Infection (CDI) in Adults Who Have Received Antibacterial Drug Treatment for Recurrent CDI. Seres Therapeutics, Inc
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • March 2013–March 2018
    Re-activating Memory T-cells in the Microenvironment of Human Tumors. (Richard Bankert - PI)
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • September 2005–August 2010
    Innate immunity and Exacerbations of COPD.
    National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  • March 2022
    Alveolar macrophage dysregulation in the pathogenesis of Gulf War Respiratory Illness
    VA Merit Review
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • Enhancing Nrf2 by Sulforaphane Treatment COPD as a Novel Interventional Strategy
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • Enhancing Nrf2 by Sulforaphane Treatment in9/10- COPD as a Novel Interventional Strategy- Ancillary study
    Role: Co-Investigator
  • Roflumilast modulation of macrophage function in exacerbation-prone COPD
    Forest Laboratories
    Role: Co-Investigator

Journal Articles:

See all (24 more)

Books and Book Chapters:

  • Berenson CS. (2008) In: Bacterial Growth and Metabolism.


  • Berim I., Wrona C., Eberhardt E., Berenson CS, Palaniyar N., Sethi S. (2012) Relationship Of Bronchoalveolar Lavage Levels Of Surfactant Proteins A And D In COPD To Exacerbation Susceptibility, Severity Of Airflow Obstruction And Current Tobacco Smoke Exposure. ATS International Conference, San Francisco, CA, (May)
  • Parameswaran GI, Murphy TF, Yin J., Grove L., Eberhardt E., Berenson CS, Sethi S. (2012) Species Specific Susceptibility To Bacterial Colonization And Exacerbation In COPD. ATS International Conference, San Francisco, CA, (May)
  • Sethi S, Berenson CS, Clare R.L., Eberhardt E., Wrona C. (2011) Association Of Impaired Innate Immune Responses Of COPD Alveolar Macrophages With Toll-Like Receptor Polymorphisms. ATS International Conference, Denver, CO, (May)

Professional Memberships:

  • American College of Physicians (2022–present)
  • American Society for Microbiology (2022–present)
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America (2022–present)
  • American Association of Immunologists (2020–present)


  • WNY American Society for Microbiology Symposium Restoration of microbiome for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection - 2022 (2022)
  • UB Microbiome Center - Microbiome restoration in Clostridioides difficile colitis – 2022 (2022)
  • Catholic Health System Grand Rounds Toxin mediated infections – 2016 Complications of TNF-alpha inhibition - 2022 (2022)

Service Activities:

  • Department Research Forum - Judge (2022–present)
  • Physical Examination course- 2nd year medical students (2022–present)
  • Grant Reviewer: 2019 Study section – DoD Congressionally Directed ‘Gulf War Illness Research Program - Reston, VA 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, British Lung Foundation 2018 2019 Long Fonds, Netherlands 2017-2022 VA /Internal Reviewer – 15 proposals over the past 5 years (2022–present)
  • UB 1995-1997 University Student Research Committee Hospital/VAMC: 1990-1994 Animal Studies Committee 1990-1995 Laboratory Utilization Subcommittee 1992-1994 Animal Studies Committee Chairman 1993-1996 Research and Development Committee 1994-1997 Radiation Safety Committee 1996-1997 Ad hoc Committee on Interim Research Funding 1996-1999 Human Studies Committee 1997-2002 Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Committee 2001-2004 Research and Development Committee 2010-present Safety Committee Medical School Service: 1995-1997 Biomedical Research Committee 1996-1998 University Office of Medical Computing Department of Medicine Representative 1999-2000 Chair, Internal Accreditation Review Committee 2000-2001 Department of Microbiology Graduate Preliminary Exams 2003-2007 Research Promotions Committee 2006-2007 Research Promotions Committee, Chair 2019-present Physical Examination course- 2nd year medical students Voluntary Medical School activity Department Service: Department of Medicine: 1997-2000 Residency Interviews 2004-2010 Website Committee-Chair 2009-2012 Promotions Committee 2017-Present Department Research Forum - Judge Infectious Diseases Division: 1994-present I.D. Fellowship Selection Committee 1996-2001 Clinical Conference Course Coordinator 1999-2000 Division Pharmaceutical Liaison (2022–present)
  • (2022–present)
  • Assistant Cubmaster, Cub Scout Pack #583 2004-2011 Assistant Scoutmaster, Boy Scout Troop #583 2009-2011 Greater Niagara Frontier Council, Advancement Committee (2022–present)
  • Fellowship Program Director (2022–present)

School News:

In the Media:

Clinical Specialties:

Clinical Offices:

Insurance Accepted:

Contact Information

VA Western New York Healthcare System
Research (151)
3495 Bailey Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14215
Phone: (716) 862-6529
Fax: (716) 862-6526

This faculty member is affiliated with UBMD, practicing physicians who are also professors in the Jacobs School.

View this physician on UBMD