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The Cushing Center

The Cushing Center housed on the second subfloor in the Medical Library stands as a tribute to Harvey Cushing, the “Father” of Neurological Surgery.

Cushing was a Yale undergraduate in the late 1800’s, a Harvard medical student and began training in surgery with the great William Halsted at Johns Hopkins in 1896. There he founded Neurosurgery as an independent specialty, established the concept of the physician scientist, founded Endocrinology through studies of hormones and pituitary tumors, and brought blood pressure monitoring and x-ray into the operating room.

Subsequently he was established as Chief of Surgery at the new Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston where for the next twenty-two years he defined and refined surgery of the brain concentrating on tumors.

In 1933 he became Sterling Professor at his old alma mater, Yale, bringing 17,000 volumes of rare medical and scientific books, 650 preserved brains and 15,000 photographs of his patients cared for at the Brigham.

The center is an architectural masterpiece of Turner Brooks and contains all of the preserved brains, photographs and vitrenes where his, John Fulton, and Arnold Kleb’s rare books from the 1000 to 1900 can be viewed as they rotate through.

Terry Dagradi is archivist for the collection and she and/or Dennis Spencer can be contacted for private tour although the center is open to all on a daily basis.

Cushing's Brains

This brief video produced by Doug Forbush and the Yale Broadcast and Media Center tells the story of one of the most important names in neurosurgery: Dr. Harvey Cushing. How did his unique collection of medical specimens come to reside at the new Cushing Center at the Yale School of Medicine?