Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Department of Neurosurgery, 1951


Neurosurgery has been a division of surgery at the medical school since it first became a specialty in the 1920s; however, the school did not offer academic courses or student teaching until the Farnsworth surgical building opened at the New England Medical Center in 1949. Dr. William Sweet served as a consultant to the medical school and the New England Medical Center from 1948 until 1951, when he was named chief of neurosurgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He established a neurosurgical residency at Tufts in 1950.

In 1951 Dr. Bertram Selverstone became the first full-time chair of the division at the school and chief neurosurgeon at the New England Medical Center. He went on to recruit a faculty that included Drs. Samuel Brendler, Robert Yuan, and John Drew, who later became responsible for developing a neurosurgery program at the Boston V.A. Medical Center. The bulk of the division's research and clinical effort during Dr. Selverstone's tenure was devoted to the localization of brain tumors with radio-isotopes and to the treatment of intracranial arterial aneurysms.

When Dr. Selverstone left Boston in 1970, Dr. Bennett M. Stein, a former faculty member of the Neurological Institute at the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, was named chair of the division. He brought with him Dr. Richard Fraser and William Shucart. In 1973 Dr. Fraser returned to New York, and Dr. R. Michael Scott replaced him as chief of pediatric neurosurgery. When Dr. Shucart left to become the neurosurgical chair of New York's Downstate Medical Center in 1975, Drs. Kalmon Post and Stephen Dell joined the faculty. Five years later Dr. Stein returned to New York to take on the chairmanship of the Department of Neurosurgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.

In 1981 Dr. Shucart, the current head of the division, returned to Tufts to become chairman. Dr. Shucart, who received his M.D. degree from the University of Missouri and trained in neurosurgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, is presently a member of the American Board of Neurological Surgery, president of the New England Neurological Society, and secretary of the Society of Neuro-logical Surgeons. At Tufts he recruited Drs. David Kasdon, M'71, and Jack Stern. Dr. Joel Abromowitz later replaced Dr. Stern, and when Dr. Scott joined the staff of the Boston Children's Hospital, Dr. Alan Cohen became chief of pediatric neurosurgery. Dr. Kasdon died in 1988. The division now includes five neurosurgeons and four Ph. D. candidates involved in research.

After Dr. Shucart took on the role of chairman, St. Elizabeth's Hospital and the Boston V.A. Medical Center both became an integral part of the program, and a research laboratory was established. Since 1983 this laboratory has been directed by Dr. John Kauer, who achieved international renown for his work on synaptic organization and olfaction. Dr. Julian Wu, another faculty member, has been studying the underlying genetic alterations in human brain tumors via molecular biological techniques, and Dr. Stephen Saris has been using animal models of primary brain tumors to investigate novel forms of therapy.

Each faculty member participates in several teaching areas, including the neuroscience course for second-year students, the neurosurgical rotation for third-year students involved in the surgery clerkship, and the fourth-year elective. The clinical program has continued to thrive, and the residency program has attracted outstanding candidates.

Source: COE, 138-40

Subject terms:
  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
This object is in collection Subject Temporal Permanent URL
Component ID:
To Cite:
TARC Citation Guide    EndNote
Detailed Rights
View all images in this book
Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
 List of Sources