Message from Dr. Feindel
It is a pleasure to reflect on the important role of the clinical and research Fellows who have always been the “life-blood” of the Neuro. Indeed, your history antedates the foundation of the MNI to the time when Wilder Penfield, William Cone and Colin Russel formed the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital, and continues today as new Fellows arrive and each of you makes your mark on clinical and research programs around the world.
As early as 1929, Penfield welcomed the first two Fellows, Ottiwell Jones, a neurosurgical student of Howard Naffziger from San Francisco, and Dorothy Russell, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow from London, England who would become a world authority on the pathology of brain tumors. They both came to study with Penfield and Cone the Spanish metallic techniques for demonstrating glial cells in the brain.
In 1933, new arrivals gave the international stamp that has always characterized the group of Fellows working at the MNI. Arne Torkildsen from Norway and Jerzy Chorobski from Poland were joined by Harvard student Joseph Evans who worked with Penfield on frontal lobe problems and later headed neurosurgical departments at Cincinnati and then at the University of Chicago.
We can now count you among the more than 1300 MNI Fellows who trained here over the years since the Institute opened in 1934. Your colleagues fanned out to many parts of the world to spread the gospel of the MNI techniques and training, often establishing for the first time neurosurgical units in their own countries such as Zhao in China, Chandy in India, Santha in Hungary and Shih in Taiwan. Many pursued careers across Canada and the United States to head university centers of neurology and neurosurgery and to apply their special training in epilepsy surgery for the first time to patients in their regions. As an example, in 1953, a striking connection was established between the MNI and the Neurological Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda when a dozen MNI graduates formed the first core of that prestigious American institute which has become the leading world center for supporting training and research in neurology, neurosurgery and the neurosciences.
The Neuro has grown since Dr. Penfield’s time with the addition of the Penfield Pavilion (1978), the Webster Pavilion with the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre (1984), the Molson Molecular Medicine Centre (1998) and the Brain Tumour Research Centre (2002). A new extension, the Neuro’s north wing, will provide space for expanded brain imaging and clinical research, out-patient units and other state-of-the-art facilities.
With warmest regards to you and your families from all your colleagues and friends here at The Neuro and especially from my wife, Faith, and myself.