The Hunterian Neurosurgical Laboratory

Located at the main campus of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the 5,275 square foot Hunterian Neurosurgical Laboratory houses research groups representing multiple specialties and interests within the neurosurgical community, each led by a world-renowned expert in that field.

The facility includes a fully equipped microsurgical laboratory, cell culture and microscopy facilities, quantitative image analysis, certified operating rooms and radiologic equipment.

Established in 1895, the Hunterian has a rich history of significant discoveries in neurosurgery, from surgical procedures to modern methods of administering chemotherapy for brain cancer. Read more:

History of the Hunterian Neurosurgical Laboratory

The nation’s first experimental surgery laboratory, the Hunterian initially was established in 1895 by Hopkins Medicine’s first dean, pathologist William Welch, and founding surgeon-in-chief William Halsted to conduct scientific research for improving techniques in surgery and pathology. (It is named for 17th century Scottish physician John Hunter, the father of scientific surgery.)

In 1904, Halstead appointed Harvey Cushing, who had come to Hopkins as a surgical resident in 1896 and joined the faculty in 1901, to head the laboratory. Cushing, whose surgical and scientific interests had begun centering on disorders of the nervous system — and who became the first to declare neurosurgery a separate specialty — refocused the Hunterian’s mission on neurosurgical research and techniques.

Under Cushing and his successors, Walter Dandy, D. Earl Walker and Donlin Long, researchers in the Hunterian made significant discoveries and devised important innovations that had substantial impact on patients requiring either brain surgery or other operative procedures. In 1991, Henry Brem, then an assistant professor of neurosurgery, re-established the Hunterian Neurosurgical Laboratory’s focus on novel treatments for brain tumors. The strong tradition of performing basic research with clinical relevance has continued to this day.

Hunterian Neurosurgical Laboratory
Harvey Cushing
Henry Brem
Students working in the lab
  • The original building housing the Hunterian Neurosurgical Laboratory

  • A 1907 portrait of Harvey Cushing, M.D., appointed to lead the Hunterian in 1904

  • Henry Brem, M.D., who revived the Hunterian in 1991

  • Students working in the Hunterian Laboratory, circa 1905

The Laboratories

Join the Hunterian Neurosurgical Research Laboratory

Interested applicants should send an updated CV and a cover letter to Betty Tyler at [email protected]

Donate to the Hunterian Research Neurosurgical Laboratory

Visit Charitable Giving for Neurosurgery and specify the program or researcher you would like to support.