Franc D. Ingraham and the genesis of pediatric neurosurgery

Subash Lohani, Alan R. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In 1929, Franc D. Ingraham, Harvey Cushing's protégé, established the first pediatric neurosurgical unit in the world at Boston Children's Hospital and dedicated his career to the neurosurgical care of children. He trained with both Cushing and Dandy and spent 1 year working in Oxford with Sherrington, who considered Ingraham to be the finest operative surgeon ever to work in his laboratory. Ingraham was instrumental in developing novel treatments, which he compiled in his classic book, Neurosurgery of Infancy and Childhood. Although he was modest and shy, Ingraham loved to entertain children with magic and enjoyed photography in and out of the operating room. Unfortunately, his career was plagued by personal illness, and he died young in 1965 at the age of 67. Despite his prolific 36-year neurosurgical career, Ingraham remained an associate professor at Harvard at his retirement. To recognize his remarkable contributions, Harvard established an endowed chair in his name in 1967. Ingraham was a pioneer and a leader in the development of pediatric neurosurgery by virtue of his imagination, intelligence, and ability to lead and inspire others. Cushing has come to be regarded as the founder of neurosurgery. It is fair to conclude that Ingraham, his disciple, is the founder of pediatric neurosurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-733
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Boston Children's Hospital
  • Franc D. Ingraham
  • Harvard Medical School
  • History
  • Pediatric neurosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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