Celebrating 150 Years of Advances and Achievements
The Department of Neurology of the University of Pennsylvania founded in 1871 by Dr. Horatio Wood, is the oldest neurology department in the country with a history of excellence in patient care, research and education in both adult and pediatric neurology. Today, Penn Neurology faculty members are engaged in groundbreaking research and clinical trials involving many complex neurological disorders. The Department includes over 143 full-time and associated faculty with a full range of clinical activities.
Horatio C. Wood, Chair
Motor and sensory areas in the brain were distinct
Charles Mills delineates how motor and sensory areas in the brain were distinct and used electrical stimulation to help localize functions of specific regions in the brain.
Charles Mills, Chair
William G. Spiller, Chair
Philadelphia Orthopedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases merges into the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Orthopedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases, a leading center for neurologic research in the early 20th century, merged into the University of Pennsylvania.
Williams Cadwalader, Chair
- President of the American Neurological Association in 1939.
- Outside of Neurology, Dr. Cadwalader was a patron of the Zoological Society in the 1890s-1920s and was elevated president in 1926. Under his tenure, the Philadelphia Zoo expanded its footprint by 50%, including a new elephant house, carnivora house and children’s zoo.
- In May 1937, Philadelphia Orthopedic Hospital and Infirmary for Nervous Diseases, a leading center for neurologic research in the early 20th century, merged into the University of Pennsylvania
- Notable faculty under Dr. Cadwalader: Dr. Frederic Henry Lewey who discovered “lewy body” seen in Parkinson’s disease and Lewy Body dementia, a disease named after him; Dr. Bernard Alpers, who later became Chairman of the Department of Nervous and Mental Disease at Jefferson Medical College; and, Dr. Richard Masland, who went on to be the director of National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness (NINDB) and the president of the World Federation of Neurology.
George D. Gammon, Chair
G. Milton Shy, Chair
- Dr. Shy served as Clinical Director and then Director of Intramural Research at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, from 1953 until his move to Penn
- Dr. Shy’s appointment at Penn represented the first ‘full time’, i.e. fully-salaried faculty position in a clinical department at the University of Pennsylvania.
- In 1962, HUP housed 750 adult and 50 pediatric beds, with a 20-bed inpatient Neurology unit on Ground Floor Gibson.
- The first NIH Training Grant was awarded to support a neurology residency training at Penn. At that time HUP did not provide training support in any specialty beyond a year of internship. Dr. Don Silberberg (future chairperson of the department) served as the first director of the training program.
Isotope Brain Scanning, and then Positron Emission Tomographic brain scanning were developed. The basic work for PET was done at Penn by David Kuhl.
Dr. Shy’s appointment at Penn represented the first ‘full time’, i.e. fully-salaried faculty position in a clinical department at the University of Pennsylvania.
Valium introduced Measles vaccine released Plasmapheresis procedure was perfected at the National Cancer Institute, NIH
It was expected that each of the Neurology faculty at Penn would be engaged in research as well as clinical activities and teaching – the origin of the ‘triple threat’ faculty member. This approach represented the beginnings of translational research in academic departments of neurology in the U.S.
Dr. Shy’s exploration of muscle biopsies via light microscopy, together with Dr. Gonatas’ expertise in electron microscopy yielded the original descriptions of several mitochondrial myopathies, assigned names by Dr. Gonatas such as ‘Nemaline myopathy, Megaconial myopathy and Pleoconial myopathy’.
Lewis R. Rowland, Chair
1st Heart Transplant by Christiaan Barnard in South Africa
Dr. Audrey Penn joined the faculty at Penn as an instructor. In 1972, she was promoted to Associate Professor, becoming the first woman of color on faculty in the Neurology department.
Arthur K. Asbury, Chair
Donald H. Silberberg, Chair
Robert L. Barchi, Chair
Francisco González-Scarano, Chair
- Dr. González-Scarano went on to became the Dean of the School of Medicine (now Long School of Medicine) and Vice-President for Medical Affairs at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in August 2010;
- Merger of PAH and HUP neurology residencies and sequential expansion to 9 adult residents/year by 2010
- Increased efforts to recruit and retain women neurologists. During his tenure, Dr. Jackie French became the first female Professor of Neurology. By 2009-2010, more than 50% of the residency class was female.
- The department was generally in the top 10 departments of Neurology for NIH funding. Research funding base – including Department of Deference and State of Pennsylvania – reached $20 milllon.
Merger and expansion of PAH and HUP neurology residencies
Merger of PAH and HUP neurology residencies and sequential expansion to 9 adult residents/year by 2010
Dr. Jackie French becomes first female professor of Neurology
More than 50% of the residency class was female
Frances Elizabeth Jensen, Chair
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