Department of Neurosurgery

Penn Neurosurgery provides outstanding patient care, exceptional medical training and conducts the latest research for all conditions of the nervous system.

Neurosurgeons at Penn Medicine perform more than 5,000 operations each year at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

surgical ampitheather
Surgical Ampitheater
Neurosurgery was originally established as a division within the Department of Surgery in 1936, with Dr. Francis C. Grant as the first Charles Harrison Frazier Professor and Chairman. Full-department status was achieved in 1997.

Penn's clinical faculty has a particular subspecialty focus that covers the entire spectrum of surgically treated disorders of the nervous system. Given the enormous volume and intensity of exposure, patients benefit from that experience as well as the multidisciplinary approach to achieving the best possible outcomes.

As part of Penn Neurosciences center, neurosurgery cooperates and collaborates with multiple departments including neurology (medical treatment of nervous disorders including stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and others), otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery (cranial base tumors, hearing and balance problems), anesthesia (pain medicine) and psychiatry (depression, obsessive compulsive disorders). Advances in research are directly translated into patient care to provide the latest and safest approach for surgical treatment of nervous system disorders.

Penn Neurosurgery carries out an active research program led by basic scientists in brain, spine and nervous system diseases and disorders. Research ranges from laboratory bench efforts to understand basic mechanisms of injury, recovery and tumor formation in the brain to drug and device trials designed to improve treatment of brain trauma, tumors, stroke and aneurysms, as well as movement disorders.

Overall the department receives over $3 million annually in research funds, much of that from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In This Section

Message from Chair

Penn Medicine's Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, M. Sean Grady, MD, discusses the department's accomplishments since it's establishment in 1936.


Penn Neurosurgery's mission focuses on providing exceptional patient care, educating future leaders in the field, and conducting leading-edge research for disorders of the nervous system.


Penn Medicine's Department of Neurosurgery has a rich history and tradition of contributions and innovations in the field.

Penn Difference

Penn Medicine is a leader in neurosurgical treatment and management of disorders of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system.


Penn Neurosurgery is ranked one of the top departments of its kind in the nation and has received numerous awards for exceptional patient care and contributions in the field.


Every generous gift to Penn's Department of Neurosurgery makes it possible to continue our mission of improving patient care and conducting innovative research in the field of neuromedicine.

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