Jacob CHANDY (1910-2007)
India’s first neurosurgeon and one of the country’s leading medical educators.
Dr. Chandy arrived at the MNI after the Second World War and trained as a surgeon for three years under Dr. Penfield and Dr. William Cone. In 1948, he became Chief Resident in Neurosurgery at the University of Chicago under Dr. Theodore Rasmussen, who later succeeded Dr. Penfield as MNI director. Dr. Chandy’s return to India in 1949 - two years after the country’s independence from British rule - was a newsworthy event. “…my science teacher in school showed me a newspaper clipping about a ‘Dr. Chandy’ who was then training in North America, and who would soon return to India as the country’s first neurosurgeon…” recalled Dr. J.C. Jacob, who later became Dr. Chandy’s student.
Dr. Chandy established India’s first Department of Neurological Sciences at the Christian Medical College and Hospital at Vellore. For the next 20 years, he promoted the MNI’s model of an integrated clinical-research facility. He arranged for key members of his department to train at the MNI, including Dr. J. C. Jacob and Dr. G. M. Taori in Neurology; Dr. Sushil Chandi in Neuropathology; and Elizabeth Mammen and S. Sarojini in Neurosurgical Nursing. Dr. Chandy’s son, Mathew, was also an MNI Fellow, and later became head of neurosurgery in the department that his father founded. In 1957, Dr. Penfield visited Vellore and laid the foundation stone of a new building. Compelled by India’s laws to retire in 1970, Dr. Chandy continued to contribute to his country’s medical education. His numerous students and colleagues recall him as a powerful influence on several generations who went on to work in major academic centres in India and in other countries.
David H. HUBEL (1926 - 2013)
Neurobiologist, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 1981.
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Hubel grew up in Montreal, where he attended school in the suburb of Outremont. As a boy, he was intrigued by chemistry. Reminiscing about his boyhood, he recalled that "I set off a small cannon that rocked Outremont and released a hydrogen balloon that flew all the way to Sherbrooke (100 kilometres away)." He graduated from McGill University in 1947 with a degree in mathematics and physics. Almost on a whim, he entered McGill's School of Medicine. He passed his summers working at the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he became fascinated by the nervous system. Upon graduation, he studied clinical neurophysiology for a year as a Fellow at the MNI under Herbert Jasper, a scientist whom he later described as "unequalled for his breadth and clarity of thinking in brain science."
Hubel moved to Johns Hopkins University for further training in 1954, but was soon drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to serve at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C. There he began his research into the action of nerve cells during sleep. Under the supervision of M.G.F. Fuortes, Hubel developed a microelectrode that could penetrate the cortex and make recordings from a single neuron. In 1958, Hubel moved to the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he collaborated with Torsten Wiesel in Stephen Kuffler's laboratory. The laboratory moved one year later to Harvard Medical School and, within five years, formed the nucleus of a new Department of Neurobiology. Hubel and Wiesel used microelectrodes to explore the brain's visual cortex and discovered how certain cells respond to specific stimulation, such as a dark edge moving in one direction. Their discoveries led to practical applications in ophthalmology, especially in treating congenital cataracts and the childhood impairment known as strabismus. For their work, Hubel and Wiesel were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1981. Hubel became professor of physiology at Harvard in 1965 and, in 1968 was named the George Packer Berry Professor of Neurobiology. In 1998, Hubel returned to the MNI to deliver the annual Wilder Penfield Lecture and spoke there again in 2007. In addition to his scientific interests, he is an avid amateur musician, linguist and photographer.
Yi-Cheng ZHAO (1908-1974)
Born in southern Fujian province, Yi-Cheng Zhao graduated from Beijing Yanjing University and received his medical degree in 1934 from the Peking Union Medical College. For the next four years, he improved his techniques in general and surgical medicine, winning prizes that included a Rockefeller Scholarship. This scholarship brought him in 1938 to the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he trained closely for the next year under Dr. Penfield. Dr. Zhao was greatly influenced by Penfield's qualities as a surgeon, administrator and caring physician. After tours at several American hospital centres, Dr. Zhao returned to China in 1940. He and his family faced hardship during the years of the Second World War. But after the war, he worked with renewed vigour, setting up a neurosurgical department at the Tianjin General Hospital and then at the Tong-Ren Hospital in Beijing. The latter centre moved to Xuan-wu Hospital, where in 1960 it became the Beijing Neurosurgical Institute (BNI) --- the largest neurosurgical centre in China. For many years, Dr. Zhao divided his time between Tianjin and Beijing, operating, teaching and conducting research. He improved clinical care in China by emphasizing the importance of sub-specialization in neurosurgery and trained more than 200 students who made significant contributions to the field.
A member of numerous scientific associations, Dr. Zhao was elected as a delegate of the National People's Congress and served in the Ministry of Health. At Dr. Zhao's request, Chairman Mao Zedong invited Dr. Penfield to visit China in 1962. The visit was the first of several exchanges between the Montreal Neurological Institute and China. The following year, Dr. Zhao was unable to travel to Canada to receive an honorary degree bestowed by the Montreal Neurological Institute. Dr. Zhao was diagnosed with cancer in 1970, but after receiving treatment, he continued to practice medicine until he succumbed in 1974. His sons, Ke-Ming and Ya-Du, became neurosurgeons and Ke-Ming Zhao was the first to receive the MNI Bethune-Zhao fellowship in 1979.
Prakash TANDON (1928- )
Indian neurosurgeon, founded the Department of Neurosurgery at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, and the neurosurgical service at the K. G. Medical College in Lucknow.
Prakash Tandon graduated first in his class in 1950 at the K. G. Medical College. In 1960, he pursued training in neurosurgery as a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He returned to India to become a pioneer in neurosurgery in his country. He quickly gained wide fame not only for his surgical skill but also for his talent as a teacher and scientific investigator. The lessons that he learned in Montreal were passed on to students who founded neurosurgery departments in cities throughout India, including Srinagar, Delhi, and Mumbai. Patients came to him from across India, as well as from neighbouring countries, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. He served as honorary surgeon to India’s president, and as a member of the Science Advisory Council to the prime minister. Foreign governments flew him to their countries for emergency consultations. During his long career, Tandon also pursued research that was published in more than 300 papers, and was co-author of India’s first textbook on neurosurgery. Among his many national and international awards and distinctions, he was the only clinician to be President of the National Academy of Sciences, India.
Chun Ren SHIH (1923- )
Taiwanese neurosurgeon, Director General, Taiwan Department of Health.
Born in a village in Taiwan, Shih graduated from the College of Medicine at National Taiwan University, one of Asia's foremost centres of learning. Subsequently he practiced surgery at the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei and at the National Defence University Medical Institute in Tahsi. In 1956, he received a scholarship to study abroad from the China Medical Board (CMB), an organization based in New York that the Rockefeller Foundation had founded in 1914 to promote health care in China. Shih waited a year to obtain his U.S. visa for study at an American university, but as he was preparing to leave, a CMB official, Dr. Harold Loucks, mentioned that he might benefit from studies with Dr. Wilder Penfield at the Montreal Neurological Institute. Shih applied to Dr. Penfield and was accepted, but he was disinclined to wait another year for a Canadian visa. Dr. Loucks suggested that he simply show his U.S. visa along with Dr. Penfield's acceptance letter to the Canadian customs officer. At the border, the officer read the letter, told Shih that he was lucky to work with a national treasure like Dr. Penfield, and waved him through. For two years, Shih studied neuropathology and neurosurgery at the MNI with Penfield, Dr. William Cone and Dr. Ted Rasmussen, then returned to Taiwan where he had a brilliant career. He served as Director at the Republic of China's Surgical and Medical Institute. From 1981 to 1983, he was Director of the Surgical and Medical Institute of Southeast Asia. In 1986, he was the first physician appointed to serve as Director General of the Department of Health. At the same time, he was appointed as Director of the International College of Surgeons. In 1990, he became National Policy Consultant at the presidential palace. The International Surgical Institute named him an Honorary Fellow in 2000. Shih's son, Yang Zhi Shih, also studied medicine, serving as Neurosurgeon-in-chief at the Veterans Hospital in Taipei.
Neurosurgeon and professor of neurology, and a world authority on pain.
Born in Belgium, Jan Gybels trained as a neurosurgery Fellow for several years in the early 1960s with Dr. Penfield and Dr. William Cone. He returned home to take up a post at the Catholic University of Louvain. In the late 1960s, he was one of the founders of the university’s neurophysiology laboratory. His interest in the origin and treatment of pain began early in his career and continues to the present day. He is the coauthor with William Sweet of Harvard University of a seminal monograph on persistent pain. Gybels was also a pioneer in Belgium in the use of stereotactic surgery. In 1994, the Catholic University bestowed on Gybels the status of professor emeritus.
André BARBEAU (1931-1986)
Neuroscientist, director of neurobiology at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal.
Born in Montreal the son of the distinguished neurologist, Antoine Barbeau, André Barbeau earned his medical degree at the Université de Montreal. Following graduation, he pursued studies at the University of Chicago, and, in 1958, entered the Montreal Neurological Institute as a research Fellow. Known as a specialist in Parkinson’s Disease and Friedreich’s Ataxia, he was a pioneer in the use of L-dopa for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. Barbeau also traced the origin of diseases such as Huntington’s Disease among Quebec residents to their ancestors in France. He used his research to act as a counsellor on genetic diseases to patients in Quebec. His research contributed to the international reputation of the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal. Barbeau was chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Université de Montreal, and contributed to more than 400 scientific papers that were widely read and respected. He served as president of the Canadian Neurological Society. For his scientific contributions, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1981, received the Prix Marie-Victorin from the government of Quebec in 1985, and the McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada in 1986.
Clarence Sumner GREENE, Sr. (1901-1957)
First African-American to be certified as a neurosurgeon.
Born in Washington, D.C., Clarence Greene earned his medical decree with distinction in 1936 at the Howard University College of Medicine. He practiced surgery and taught at Howard University for 11 years before arriving at the Montreal Neurological Institute in 1947 for neurosurgical training with Dr. Penfield. Greene studied neurosurgery at the MNI for three years. In 1953, Greene earned the distinction of becoming the first African-American to be certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He was appointed chair of neurosurgery at Howard University and practiced there until his untimely death in 1957. But in a short career, he became a model for other African-Americans seeking careers in medicine and other professions.
Jesse BARBER Jr. (1924-2002)
Pioneer African-American neurosurgeon, chief of Neurosurgery and first professor of social medicine at Howard University.
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jesse Barber decided on a medical career after scoring first in a pre-med examination. He received his undergraduate degree from Lincoln University, and then undertook medical studies at the Howard University Medical College, where he graduated in 1948. Barber practiced general surgery for six years and in 1956 became an instructor of surgery and pathology at Howard University. In 1958, he began advanced studies as a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he remained for three years. Returning to Howard University as chief of neurosurgery, he was certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery in 1963. He founded the Medical Stroke Project in 1968. In 1973, Barber made headlines as the surgeon who was asked to operate on the wife of a Black Muslim leader who had suffered gunshot wounds to the head. Barber also gained fame in the 1970s for successfully straightening the dangerously curved spine of a teenage boy. Acutely aware of his social mission as a physician, Barber was appointed in 1983 as the university’s first professor of social medicine. Many students undertook neurosurgery as a direct result of Barber’s inspiration. The recipient of many awards, Barber served as president of the National Medical Association.
Kristian KRISTIANSEN (1907-1993)
Born in Oslo, Kristian Kristiansen completed medical studies at the local university in 1931. After performing his residency in general surgery, he worked at the university Neurosurgical Clinic until 1943. For the rest of the war years, he worked at the Military Hospital for Head Injuries at Oxford, England. In 1947, Kristiansen at last was able to realize his plan to study at the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he was a Fellow for two years. With Dr. Penfied, he published a monograph on epileptic seizure patterns. Kristiansen continued his study of epilepsy in later years, co-authoring a book with George Henriksen. Upon his return to Oslo, he started a neurological service at Ulleval Hospital, and in 1955, established a separate Department of Neurosurgery. He was appointed professor of neurosurgery at the University of Oslo in 1961. That same year, he was awarded the Order of St. Olav, one of many distinctions that he received during his career.
Keasley WELCH (1921-1996)
Neurosurgeon and professor of neurosurgery, Harvard University.
Born in Bridgeport, Connectictur, Keasley Welch graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1940, then earned a medical degree from Yale University in 1943. He pursued further training as a Fellow of the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he received a Master of Science degree from McGill University in 1947. Afterwards, Welch served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for two years. During a 16-year period at the University of Colorado, Welch conducted research on cerebrospinal fluid, publishing his findings widely. He was appointed to Harvard Medical School in 1971, and served as chief of neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s and Children’s Hospital until 1987. At the time of his death, he was Franc D. Ingraham Professor of Neurosurgery emeritus.
Hugh McLENNAN (1927-2004)
Neuroscientist, pioneer researcher of neurotransmitters.
Born in Montreal, Hugh McLennan obtained his graduate degrees from McGill University, where he conducted research under the supervision of K.A.C. Elliott. In the early 1950s, he was a lecturer at University College, London, where he made seminal studies on the physiology of neurotransmitters. From 1953-1955, he was a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute, carrying out the earliest research with the leading neurotransmitter researcher, Ernst Florey. During that period, Herbert Jasper wrote that the neurotransmitter research by Florey and McLennan might be “a discovery of major consequence…” In 1957, McLennan joined the Department of Physiology at the University of British Columbia. For the next 35 years, McLennan made seminal studies on the inhibitory aspects of the neurotransmitter, Gamma-aminobutyric Acid, as well as research into the synthesis and metabolism of acetylcholine. His influential book, “Synaptic Transmission,” was first published in 1963 and published in a second edition in 1973. Many pioneers of inhibitory and excitatory transmitters attended a symposium in McLennan’s honour at the University of British Columbia in 1990.
Alberto MARTINEZ-COLL (1923- )
Pioneer Venezuelan neurosurgeon.
Alberto Martinez-Coll began his post-graduate studies with Dr. Penfield as a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute in 1952. Returning to Venezuela, he began in 1958 to pioneer epilepsy surgery in that country, becoming one of the leading neurosurgeons at the Jose Maria Vargas Hospital in Caracas. Martinez-Coll published more than 30 scientific papers, and lectured widely abroad. He was one of the founders of the Venezuelan Neurosurgery Society in 1963. Profoundly interested in the nature of consciousness, he wrote a book entitled, “Science, Metaphysics and Spirituality.”
Pioneer Arab neurosurgeon
Fuad Haddad arrived at the Montreal Neurological Institute from Lebanon in 1952 for advanced training as a neurosurgery Fellow. In 1954, he returned to Beirut as the first fully trained Arab neurosurgeon. The next year, he organized the Lebanese Society of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, which would thereafter hold biannual scientific meetings. At the time, Lebanon had five neurosurgeons and neurologists and 11 psychiatrists. The Society adopted its important code of ethics in 1960. In the same year, Lebanon established its second neurosurgical unit. Within ten years, the Society’s membership increased to the point that its members decided to form three separate divisions. Haddad established the annual Wilder Penfield lecture. In 1973, during a time of civil war when many Lebanese professionals left the country, Haddad provided neurosurgical service in Beirut. He was aided by Shawki Nahra, another certified neurosurgeon who arrived that year immediately following studies as an MNI Fellow.
Mexican neurosurgeon, chief of neurosurgery, Osler Medical Centre, Monterrey.
Garcia-Flores received his PhD from the Universite de Montreal, and did a residency at the MNI.
Raul MARINO, Jr. (1936- )
Born in Sao Paulo, Raul Marino began his medical training at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School, then studied further at hospitals and clinics in Boston. He entered the Montreal Neurological Institute as a Fellow in 1966, studying neurosurgical techniques with Theodore Rasmussen and William Feindel, and electroencephalography as applied to epilepsy with Pierre Gloor. Marino later became a visiting scientist at the Neurophysiology laboratories of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Upon his return to Brazil in 1969, he founded the Division of Functional Neurosurgery at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School. With Theodore Rasmussen, he published in 1980 one of the first books dealing with functional neurosurgery. He was appointed the first professor and chairman of the School’s new Neurosurgery Division in 1990. In its centennial year, the Academy of Medicine of Sao Paulo elected Marino as its president. Marino has frequently traveled to Japan to promote neurosurgery and to appreciate the local culture.
Cosimo Ajmone-Marsan arrived at the Montreal Neurological Institute as a research Fellow in 1949, studying neurophysiology and EEG under Herbert Jasper. During his subsequent career at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, he became a leading figure in epilepsy research and treatment. Both a clinical and research scientist, he has trained many students who went on to become expert epileptologists. Ajmone-Marsan served as president of the American Epilepsy Society in 1973. Among his distinctions is the Award for Ambassador of Epilepsy in recognition of outstanding contributions.
Milton SHY (1920-1967)
Born in Colorado, Milton Shy studied medicine in Oregon before undertaking his residency at Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital. As a physician with the U.S. Army in the Second World War, Shy was badly wounded. After recovering, he entered the neurology program at the National Hospital for Neurology in Queen Square, London. In 1949 he arrived as a neurology Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He was appointed in 1951 as the first head of neurology at the new University of Colorado medical school. Here he observed a form of muscle atrophy that came to be called Shy-Drager Syndrome. Shy became a specialist in muscle diseases. He became an innovator in naming muscle diseases according to the site of molecular pathology. In 1953, at the age of 33, Shy was appointed Intramural Clinical Director at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disease and Blindness, where clinical and scientific work was carried out in close quarters, just as at the Montreal Neurological Institute. Shy created strong programs in neuromuscular diseases and in epilepsy. He attracted several former colleagues from Montreal, including neurosurgeon Maitland Baldwin, who was largely responsible for gaining government funds to build the National Institutes of Health operating rotunda. Other former Montreal Fellows who joined Shy were Cosimo Ajmone-Marsan as head of the electroencephalography laboratory, and Donald Tower, head of neurochemistry research. Shy was later head of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. He was then appointed director of the Neurological Institute at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York, but three weeks later suffered a fatal heart attack.
Donald Bayley TOWER (1920-2007)
Neurologist, head of the U.S. National Institute for Neurological Disease and Blindness.
A medical graduate of Harvard University, Donald Tower received a master's degree in neurochemistry in 1948 and a doctorate in neurochemistry in 1951, both from McGill University. He began work as a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute in 1949. After two years of neurosurgical residency, he was awarded a five-year Markle Foundation Fellowship to continue studies in neurochemistry with K.A.C. Elliott. Tower then left to pursue his career at the National Institute for Neurological Disease and Blindness. In 1973, he was appointed director of the NINDB (later renamed the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke), a post that he held until his retirement in 1981. Tower made a commitment to include the study of epilepsy in the Institute’s program. He established the first clinical neurochemistry research laboratory at the NIH neurological institute. He was also co-founder of the American Society for Neurochemistry, and served as chief editor of the Journal of Neurochemistry and as neuroscience adviser and consultant to the World Health Organization in Geneva. Tower received the Distinguished Service Medal from the U.S. Public Health Service.
Joseph Evans had the distinction of delivering the first Fellows’ Lecture in 1957, an occasion that honoured MNI neurosurgeon William Cone. A graduate of Harvard University, Evans began studying as a neurosurgery Fellow with Dr. Penfield at the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1929, five years before the opening of the Montreal Neurological Institute. In 1935, Penfield and Evans published a seminal paper on the effects of frontal lobe removal. Throughout his career, Evans had an interest in epilepsy and other forms of pathophysiology. His book, Acute Head Injury, was published in 1951. He served as head of the Department of Neurosurgery both at the University of Cincinatti and at the University of Chicago.
Arne TORKILDSEN (1899-1968)
Arne Torkildsen arrived in Canada from his native Norway in 1932 as a research Fellow working at the Royal Victoria Hospital with Dr. Penfield two years before the Montreal Neurological Institute building was completed. Torkildsen later became professor of neurosurgery at the University of Oslo. As early as 1937, he performed a surgical technique to treat hydrocephalus that came to be known as Torkildsen’s Operation.
André CIPRIANI (1908-1956)
Born in Trinidad, André Cipriani was educated at McGill University, where he studied mathematics and physics, graduating with high first-class honours in 1932. Afterwards, he entered the Faculty of Medicine. In 1936, he was a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he aided Dr. Penfield and Dr. Jasper in designing and constructing electronic equipment for use in neurophysiology studies. After serving in the Canadian Army during the Second World War, Cipriani joined the atomic energy project at Chalk River. He served as director of the biology division at the Atomic Energy of Canada Chalk River plant. He was a pioneer in the use of Cobalt-60 as a treatment for cancer. As an expert on radiation, he served on many national committees on the handling and disposal or radioisotopes.
Donald HEBB (1904-1985)
Canadian neuropsychologist, chairman of Department of Psychology and Chancellor of McGill University
Born the son of two physicians in Chester, Nova Scotia, Donald Hebb earned an undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University, and then undertook courses in psychology at McGill University, studying with Boris Babkin, a former student of Ivan Pavlov. Following further study at the University of Chicago, Hebb completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1936. The following year, he returned to Montreal as a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute, conducting research over the next two years on the effect of surgical removals on brain function. Hebb helped to develop new tests to assess brain surgery patients. In 1942, he moved to Florida to work at the Yerkes Primate Research Center. Hebb returned to McGill University in 1947, and the following year was appointed chairman of the Department of Psychology. In 1949, he published a groundbreaking work, The Organization of Behaviour: A Neuropsychological Theory. His proposal that the environment in early childhood plays a major role in brain development was widely influential. One of his observations relating to the circuitous activity of neurons became known as Hebb’s Law. He introduced Brenda Milner as a young psychology graduate to study Penfield's neurosurgical patients. At the end of his life, he was professor emeritus of psychology at Dalhousie University.
C. Miller FISHER (1913- )
Canadian neurologist, member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Born in Waterloo, Ontario, C. Miller Fisher graduated from the University of Toronto medical school in 1938. He then pursued advanced studies as a Fellow of the Montreal Neurological Institute. As a member of the military during the Second World War, he spent more than three years in a German prisoner of war camp. A knowledge of German acquired during his internment would later give him access to Germany’s rich scientific literature on cerebrovascular disease. In 1948, Fisher joined the MNI and the Montreal General Hospital as a clinical assistant in neurology. Six years later, he was appointed professor of neurology at Harvard University and at the Massachusetts General Hospital. During his career, he studied the specific causes of stroke. His method of analyzing his observations of patients came to be known as Fisher’s Rules. Many of his students employ his rules as heads of clinics and laboratories throughout the world. Miller Fisher Syndrome, a rare acute immune-mediated neuropathy related to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, is named after him. Fisher was voted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 1998.
John Stirling MEYER (1924- )
American neurologist, world authority on cerebrovascular disorders.
After earning his undergraduate degree at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, John Meyer undertook medical studies at McGill University, where he received his MD and his MSc. In 1949, he was a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute. He undertook further training at Yale University and medical residency at Harvard Medical School. In 1969, he moved to Houston, where he had long tenures with the University of Houston and Baylor University. He remains professor emeritus of neurology at Baylor. In hundreds of scientific articles, Meyer richly contributed to the specialty of cerebrovascular disorders. He was selected as chairman of President Lyndon Johnson’s Commission on Heart Disease. Meyer claims the distinction of being the first to use the clot drug TPA to treat acute hemorrhagic stroke. Among his many awards and distinctions is the Mihara International Award for research in stroke.
Richard ROVIT (1923- )
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Richard Rovit obtained his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He received surgical training in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital and at Beth Israel Hospital. From 1958-1960, he was a Fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute, with particular interest in epilepsy surgery and EEG and was appointed to the surgical staff, working closely with Dr. William Feindel in the Cone Laboratory. He earned an MSc. from McGill University in 1961. Afterwards, he was appointed as chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. Since 1994, he has been professor of neurological surgery at New York Medical College, Valhalla. In addition to contributing to more than 130 scientific articles, he served as senior editor of a textbook, Trigeminal Neuralgia, published in 1990.
Henry David GARRETSON, 1929-2007
American neurosurgeon, first chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Louisville.
Henry Garretson was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arizona. He earned his MD at Harvard University. During the 1950s, he learned to fly as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Navy. Flying became his passion. From 1959-1963, he was a medical resident at the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he completed the intensive neurosurgical program under Wilder Penfield and his colleagues. Garretson then served for five years at the MNI with Dr. William Feindel as an assistant professor of neurosurgery and as a member of the Cone Laboratory for Neurosurgical Research. Along with his colleagues, he devised refinements of the injection technique for carotid amytal tests to localize speech and electrical seizure activity in the brain. Similar approaches were developed for precisely injecting coloured dyes into the brain circulation to aid in the surgery of aneurysms and other abnormal blood vessel lesions. In 1968, Garretson earned his PhD from McGill University for brain tumour research that accurately determined tumour cell growth rate, a basic discovery for future research. In 1971, Garretson was appointed director of the Division of Neurological Surgery at the University of Louisville, where he continued to teach and to practice surgery until his retirement in 1997, when he became Emeritus Professor. Under his directorship, several endowed chairs were inaugurated, and the Neurosurgical Department became one of the leading spinal cord research centres in the world. Known as a strict disciplinarian in the operating theatre, Garretson was also known for his compassion toward his patients. His many publications focussed on cerebral circulation and intracranial vascular lesions, the cell kinetics of glioblastoma multiforme, the physiology of intracranial pressure, and cerebral arteriovenous malformations. He was elected president of the American Association of Neurosurgical Surgeons. The Dr. Henry D. Garretson Chair in Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research was inaugurated in 1997. Dr. Garretson and his wife, Marianna, died tragically in an airplane crash in December, 2007.