Welcome to BIDMC Neurology


History of the Harvard Neurology Department at BIDMC

The Establishment of the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School

The first neurologist to be appointed at Harvard Medical School was Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard, who was appointed as a Professor of Physiology and Neuropathology in 1864-1867. Two of the medical students whom he influenced during this period were William James (who became a Professor of Psychology and the first great neuroscientist at Harvard) and James Jackson Putnam. Putnam specialized in neurological disease and in 1893 was appointed the first Professor of Disease of the Nervous System at HMS. When he died, his family and friends donated funds for the Putnam Chair of Neurology, which has been handed down to subsequent Chairs of the Department.

Charles Édouard Brown Séquard
William James
James Jackson Putnam