One of the great pioneers in the field of surface Electromyography (EMG) passed away at the age of 83 this past week. Professor Fausto Berzin had close ties to our founder, Prof Carlo De Luca and to Dr. Serge Roy, the Director of Research at Delsys and Altec Inc.
Prof. Berzin almost single-handedly promoted surface EMG in research and clinical practice throughout Brazil. His enthusiasm and dedication to EMG techniques and technology spread to other regions of the Americas and Europe with the help of his having mentored some 43 PhD and 58 Master’s degree students.
As Professor Emeritus from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) School of Dentistry of Piracicaba (FOP) he served as Full Professor there from 1966 to 2010, and Visiting Professor of the Graduate Program in Physiotherapy, Federal University of São Carlos (March 1998 to September 2010). He holds a Degree in Dentistry from the State University of Campinas (1966) and a Specialization in Anatomy from the University of São Paulo (1970), a PhD in Sciences from the School of Dentistry of Piracicaba (1974), post-graduate experience in morphology, with emphasis on Anatomy and neuromuscular control. He was the Founder and President of the Brazilian Society of Electromyography (COBEC) and Kinesiology and served as Track Chair for Congresses of the International Society of Electromyography and Kinesiology.
Dr. Roy recounts first meeting Fausto in 2002 with dozens of his past and present graduate students in tow during the XIVth ISEK Congress in Vienna. His vitality and warmth made them immediate friends and was the start of a long-term relationship with many enjoyable invites to Brazil from Fausto and those he mentored. A particular memory from Dr. Roy was a trip to Piracicaba for a COBEC annual conference where unbeknownst to Serge, Fausto had arranged an honorary tree planting ceremony complete with a full brass band. Serge recounted: “It was a total surprise kept as a secret from me, but I should have been alerted because as I drove from the airport and entered Piracicaba I passed a giant billboard in front of the University which featured a 20 ft picture of me. That has unfortunately never happened since!” He also found out later that Prof Berzin had assembled the band from an orphanage in Brazil that he supported.
Serge provided one of hundreds of photos he has saved which captures his friend and colleague Fausto as he would like him to be remembered: surrounded by his loving students.