Leadership Transition in the Department of Neurosurgery

April 4, 2019

To:Penn Medicine Faculty, Students and Staff

From:J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD
Ralph W. Muller

We write to announce that after more than two decades of exceptional, impactful leadership as the Charles Harrison Frazier Professor of Neurosurgery and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, M. Sean Grady, MD, will be stepping down from this role effective June 30, 2020. This transition will begin a new chapter in his distinguished career at Penn Medicine and as a national leader in the field.

Dr. Grady will continue to serve as Physician Director of the Neurosciences Service Line (NSL), which he was instrumental in creating and developing, together with other senior academic and clinical leaders. In this next phase of his career, he will take on two national leadership posts. In September 2019, he will begin a yearlong term as the president of the American Academy of Neurological Surgery. In May 2020, he will become president of the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the oldest professional organization of neurological surgeons in the world.

Dr. Grady’s contributions to Penn Medicine across all mission areas cannot be overstated. In addition to leading 20 neurosurgeons and six basic scientists in the clinical, education and research mission of the Department, he has been an outstanding Director of the NSL.

Under his leadership the Department of Neurosurgery has developed exciting new lines of research, including major collaborative grants for work in traumatic brain injury and neuro-oncology. From 1999 to 2012, Dr. Grady served as residency program director at HUP, and he was a member of the ACGME Residency Review Committee for Neurological Surgery from 2012-2018. His strong support of GME within the Department has enhanced the patient-care experience, mentoring, and curriculum. Of particular note is his strong support for the advancement of women in neurosurgery – under his leadership, the department’s residency program has substantially exceeded national goals for increasing the number of women in the field.

As NSL Director, Dr. Grady has advanced and expanded clinical programs across hospital entities, partnering with leaders such as Frances Jensen, MD, Chair of the Department of Neurology, and Mitch Schnall, MD, PhD, Chair of the Department of Radiology, and our neurosurgeons, neurologists, psychiatrists, neuroradiologists, rehabilitation specialists and others to provide exceptional, integrated care. Dr. Grady’s accomplishments include programs to reduce length of stay and unplanned readmissions among stroke and spine surgery patients. During his tenure as chair of Neurosurgery, the Department has consistently been ranked, along with Neurology, among the nation’s top programs in the discipline as part of U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best Hospitals publication.

Dr. Grady is internationally recognized for his clinical research in neuro-trauma and skull base tumors, with nearly 200 peer reviewed publications. He is co-director of the Cranial Base Center with Dr. Jim Palmer and is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Penn Center for Translational Excellence in Glioblastoma Immunotherapy.

We will convene a search committee in the coming months for the next Chair of Neurosurgery which John Glick, MD, has graciously agreed to chair.

Please join us in thanking Dr. Grady for his outstanding institutional citizenship and leadership, for the lasting mark he has left on Penn Medicine and the contributions he will undoubtedly continue to make moving forward.