Dear P&S Readers,
The 1909 founders of the Neurological Institute (NI) of New York were pioneers who created NI in the belief that the
western hemisphere deserved a hospital dedicated to “persons suffering from nervous and mental disorders,” including people of moderate means. It was also designed to educate physicians and the public and to sponsor the study of neurological diseases and conditions. NI’s mission remains unchanged 100 years later.
What those founders — prominent New York neurologists and influential benefactors — endorsed at a March 1909 meeting at The Century Association in midtown served as the foundation for 100 years of ground-breaking contributions in neurology, neurological surgery, and neuroscience. Only eight months after that meeting, the Neurological Institute of New York opened. What generations of men and women made of it during its first 100 years was celebrated at Columbia in September with a day-long symposium and gala.
Also this fall, we saluted one of those giants in neuroscience as Nobelist and longtime Columbia faculty member Eric Kandel turned 80. A day-long celebration was organized around presentations by his former students and postdocs, his friends in neuroscience outside Columbia, and his friends in neuroscience within Columbia — all leaders in their own right — and illustrated the extensive reach of a great academic scientist’s life.
The Neurological Institute and Eric Kandel: Two names widely linked to Columbia University, illustrating how intertwined institutions and individuals are in building and maintaining a legacy. Whether NI to you means a building, a hospital, a place of learning or training, or a professional home, all of us can agree that the Neurological Institute and the men and women who raised its profile through hard work and dedication are treasures to Columbia, the medical center, our nation, our shared history, and our renewed commitment to continued progress in treating brain disease or injury.
With best wishes,
Lee Goldman, M.D., Dean