Harvey William Cushing (April 8, 1869 - October 7, 1939) an outstanding American neurosurgeon and a pioneer of brain surgery. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Cushing studied medicine at Harvard Medical School and graduated in 1895. Then he studied surgery under the guidance of a famous surgeon, William Stewart Halstead, at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore. During his medical career he was a surgeon at this hospital, at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston and as professor of surgery at the Harvard Medical School. From 1933, until his death, he worked at Yale University.

Working from the beginning of the 20th century he developed many of the basic surgical techniques for operating the brain, thus establishing himself as one of the foremost leaders and experts of this field. Under his influence neurosurgery became a new and autonomous surgical discipline. His achievements:

  • improved considerably the survival of patients after difficult brain operations for intracranial tumors
  • used x-rays to diagnose brain tumors
  • used electrical stimuli for study of the human sensory cortex
  • was the world's leading teacher of neurosurgeons in the first decades of 20th century

Now his name is commonly associated with his most famous discovery - the Cushing's disease. In 1912 he discovered an endocrinological syndrome caused by a malfunction of the pituitary gland. He described it in his work The Pituitary Body and its Disorders. Cushing was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1926, for a biography of one of the fathers of modern medicine - Sir William Osler.

Harvey Cushing is by many considered the greatest neurosurgeon of the 20th century.
He died in 1939, in New Haven, Connecticut.

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