• 1900


    • Dr. Charles A. Elsberg, a founder of the Neurological Institute, establishes the first Neurosurgery Service at NI.
    • Postgraduate courses for neurological nurses are instituted at NI in 1911.
    • During World War I, at the request of the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Elsberg trains 200 neurological surgeons at the New York Neurosurgical School for U.S. Army Medical Officers.
  • 1920


    • By 1927, NI is too large for the 67 Street facility and accepts an invitation to move to Washington Heights as an affiliate of the newly formed Columbia University Medical Center.
    • James Gamble Rogers, architect of Yale University's campus, designs NI's new home, the same building it occupies today. The Institute's trustees open the facility in March 1929.
    • First successful removal of a herniated intervertebral disc by Dr. Elsberg.
    • Benchmark atlas of neuroanatomy compiled by Dr. Henry Riley and Dr. Frederick Tilney.
    • Dr. Elsberg and his colleagues, Harvey Cushing of Boston and Charles Frazier of Philadelphia form the Society of Neurological Surgeons.
  • 1930


    • NI faculty member, Dr. Tracy Putnam, and future NI chairman Dr. H. Houston Merritt discover anticonvulsant diphenylhydantoin (Dilantin).
    • Dr. Paul F.A. Hoefer opens one of the first electroencephalography (EEG) laboratories in the U.S. to study the diagnostic value of brain waves.
    • Dr. Cornelius Dyke and associates pioneer the development of neuroradiology independent field. First radiation of an open wound by Dyke and Leo Davidoff.
    • Dr. Bernard Sachs, of Tay-Sachs fame, is appointed the first chief of NI's pioneering pediatric neurology service in 1933.
    • NI merges with the Presbyterian Hospital in 1937.
  • 1940


    • Drs. K.C. Cole, Howard Curtis, and David Goldman publish groundbreaking studies on mechanisms of membrane excitability.
    • H. Houston Merritt, MD, a founding father of modern neurology and one of the most celebrated clinical neurologists of the 20th century, becomes Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Columbia and Director of Neurological Services at NI in 1948.
    • Neurochemist and immunologist Dr. Elvin Kabat demonstrates the diagnostic importance of change in spinal fluid gamma globulin. In 1949, Dr. Dominic Purpura establishes the first laboratory for basic neuroscience research.
  • 1950


    • Dr. Juan Taveras establishes the first training program in neuroradiology. Dr. Merritt's influential Textbook of Neurology is published in 1955. Now in its 10th edition, it is still one of the field's leading texts for medical students and residents.
    • Dr. Merritt becomes Dean of the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
    • In 1958, Dr. J. Lawrence Pool is the first neurosurgeon to use the operating microscope.
    • Dr. Sidney Carter, chief of pediatric neurology, leads the establishment of child neurology as a recognized subspecialty in the U.S.
  • 1960


    • The Neurological Intensive Care Unit is established, one of the earliest neuromedical in the country.
    • In 1965, the first training program in child neurology is established under the direction of Dr. Carter, and he receives the first NIH Pediatric Neurology Training Grant. Dr. Carter is instrumental in establishing certification in pediatric neurology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
    • The Neurological Institute of New York, The New York-Presbyterian Hospital at Columbia University Medical Center becomes headquarters for the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, founded by Mr. William Black.
    • In 1968, Dr. Sadek Hilal develops "embolization," a way to treat malformations of blood vessels in the brain by injecting substances to occlude them. This innovative technique is the first step in developing the field of "interventional radiology."
  • 1970


    • Columbia is one of the first universities to develop an integrated neurobiology program for research and graduate training.
    • In 1973, Dr. Lewis P. Rowland is named Chairman of Neurology at Columbia and Director of the Neurological Service. In 1975, the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior is established under the leadership of Dr. Eric Kandel.
    • Dr. Rowland obtains the first NIH Training Grant to support development of neurological clinicians-scientists. Investigators of movement disorders first use botulinum toxin to prevent involuntary movements.
  • 1980


    • Dr. Bennett M. Stein is named Chairman of NS and Director of the Neurological Service. He establishes subspecialties in the field.
    • In 1988, Drs. Salvatore Di Mauro and Eric Schon, working in the H. Houston Merritt Center for Neuromuscular Research, first link deletions of mitochondrial DNA to a specific clinical syndrome affecting the brain, eyes, and muscle, opening up a new human genetic pattern called maternal inheritance.
    • 1989, Drs. Stanley Fahn, Robert Burke, Susan Bressman and their team localize the gene for one form of dystonia to chromosome 9q.
    • In 1989, the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is established under the direction of Dr. Timothy A. Pedley. It is one of the first recognized by New York State.
  • 1990


    • The Decade of the Brain begins.
    • Dr. Robert A. Solomon pioneers deep hypothermic cardiac arrest to improve surgery for cerebral aneurysms, a common cause of brain hemorrhage, and doubles the number of functional survivors.
    • Clinical neurogeneticists at NI map genes for Huntington's disease, spinal muscular atrophy, levodopa-responsive dystonia, Wilson's Disease, and a newly-recognized form of familial frontotemporal dementia.
    • NI researchers receive the first NIH grant to evaluate fetal brain transplants in treating Parkinson's Disease.
    • In 1998, Dr. Timothy A. Pedley is named Chairman of Neurology at Columbia and Neurologist-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
    • 1999 marks the 90th Anniversary of the Neurological Institute's establishment.
  • 2000


    • Dr. Eric Kandel receives the Nobel Prize in Medicine for work on understanding the molecular basis of memory.
    • NIH awards Morris K. Udall Center for Parkinson's Disease Research to Columbia (Stanley Fahn, MD, Director).
    • Dr. Richard Axel receives Nobel Price in Medicine and Physiology for studies defining the molecular basis of olfaction.
    • Drs. Salvatore Di Mauro, Stanley Fahn, Richard Mayeux, Timothy A. Pedley, and Lewis P. Rowland elected to the Institute of Medicine.
    • Motor Neuron Center for Biology and Disease is established (Christopher E. Henderson, PhD, Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD and Darryl C. De Vivo, MD, Co-Directors)
    • In 2011, Dr. Richard Mayeux is named Chairman of Neurology at Columbia and Neurologist-in-Chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.