Robert G. Grossman, MD

Grossman_Robert_150pxProfessor, Department of Neurosurgery
Houston Methodist Hospital

Dr. Grossman was born in New York City in 1933. He was educated in the New York City public schools, including the Bronx High School of Science, but spent the Junior and Senior High School years at the Horace Mann School. In 1949 he entered Swarthmore College in the suburbs of Philadelphia, graduating with honors in the Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. In 1953 he entered The College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. While in medical school he worked extensively in the laboratory of S.C. Wang, Professor of Physiology, a pioneer in mapping the autonomic functions of the brainstem. Dr. Grossman’s first authored scientific paper was published in the Journal of Neurophysiology in 1958 on the control of locomotion from the thalamus and brainstem.

Dr. Grossman took a surgical internship at the University of Rochester in upstate New York in 1957. In 1958 he enlisted in the U.S. Army, was commissioned as a Captain in the Medical Corps and was assigned to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. At WRAIR he published, in Science, one of the first papers on the encoding of information in the patterns of neuronal discharge. He also designed instrumentation for the launching of primates into orbital flight for the Army’s space program, and designed a space-capsule for them.

In 1960 he returned to Columbia, to the Neurological Institute of New York, for his residency in Neurosurgery with J. Lawrence Pool, M.D. Dr. Grossman joined the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1963. At Southwestern Dr. Grossman was Instructor, then Assistant Professor, then Associate Professor. Dr. Kemp Clark, chair of the division, and Dr. Grossman were the neurosurgical faculty at Southwestern and were the two neurosurgeons who attended President Kennedy in Trauma Room 1.

He returned to New York in 1969 to join the faculty of the Einstein College of Medicine, becoming Professor of Neurosurgery. In 1973, he returned to Texas to become the Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. There he continued to develop a program of basic and clinical research on the response of the body and the brain to traumatic injury, and continued basic research on the physiology of glial cells in the brain.

In 1980 he became the Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at The Methodist Hospital and Chairman of Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine. In 2005 he became the Director of the Methodist Hospital Neurological Institute. The Methodist Neurological Institute was formed in 2004 to advance the discovery of the origins of neurological disease and to provide comprehensive care for patients with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. The Neurological Institute’s creation is an important academic venture for The Methodist Hospital.