1. History of Barrow Neurological Institute

  2. 1950
    1954

    Seeds of a Partnership

    Charles Barrow, a coal magnate, donates a electroencephalography (EEG) machine to St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Sisters of Mercy.

    Black and white portrait of charles barrow
  3. 1958

    Barrow Neurological Institute Founded

    Charles Barrow, a coal magnate, made an initial donation of $500,000 to found Barrow Neurological Institute after Dr. John Green extended the life of his wife, Julia, who had a malignant brain tumor. He made the donation in the name of his father, William H. Barrow.

    Barrow Neurological Institute Founded in 1958
  4. 1960
    1961

    Barrow Neurosurgery Residency Program Accredited

    The Barrow Neurosurgery Residency Program received accreditation from the American Board of Neurosurgery. “Barrow was, at that time, the only residency not associated with a university,” Dr. Volker Sonntag said. “So that was a huge accomplishment for Dr. Green.” In this photo, actor Vincent Edwards (left) is pictured with Barrow’s first neurosurgical resident, Dr. David Scheetz.

    Barrow doctors in 1961
  5. 1961

    Barrow Gets a Home

    Construction begins on the state-of-the-art Barrow Neurological Institute building. The building now houses the Heart and Lung Tower of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. The photo above was taken at the new building’s dedication in 1962.

    Barrow group photo in 1961
  6. 1962

    Barrow opens its doors

    Sept. 23, 1962: Barrow opened its doors to patients with one neurosurgical operating room and 52 beds. It was one of only three neuroscience institutes in the entire country. It had five divisions: neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, neurobiology, and neuropathology.

    Newspaper article 1962
  7. 1970
    1972

    Level 1 Trauma Center

    In 1972 Barrow and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center were designated as Arizona’s first Level 1 Trauma Center.

    Level 1 Trauma Center
  8. 1975

    CT Scanner

    Barrow Installs 1st CT Scanner in Phoenix

    Barrow's first CT Scanner
  9. 1979

    Neurorehabilitation Center Launched

    The center has continued to expand ever since.

    Woman receiving rehab treatment
  10. 1980
    1983

    Dr. Robert F. Spetzler Joins Barrow

    In 1986, Dr. Spetzler would succeed Dr. John Green as Director of Barrow Neurological Institute.

    Dr. Robert Spetzler during surgery at Barrow
  11. 1983

    Refining Cardiac Standstill Procedure

    Dr. Robert Spetzler and Dr. Joseph Zabramski refine this radical procedure, which involves inducing hypothermia, stopping the heart, and removing blood from the patient, allows neurosurgeons to treat previously inoperable lesions in the brain.

    Doctors at Barrow analyzing results from computer
  12. 1985

    BNI Quarterly

    Dr. Robert Spetzler established the BNI Quarterly, the official journal of Barrow.

    1985 image of brain
  13. 1986

    Dr. John Green Retires

    Dr. John Green Retires as director of Barrow and is succeeded by Dr. Robert Spetzler.

    black and white photo of barrow surgeon
  14. 1987

    America’s Brain Trust Event

    Barrow celebrates its 25th anniversary by sponsoring the America’s Brain Trust event. The forum consisted of President Gerald Ford, Vice President Walter Mondale, and Henry Kissinger.

    America's first brain trust event
  15. 1987

    Papal Visit

    Pope John Paul II Visits Barrow and St. Joseph’s. Barrow was the only hospital visited by the Pope on his tour of the United States.

    Pope John Paull II at Barrow
  16. 1988

    First Lady Nancy Reagan

    First Lady Nancy Reagan dedicates the Dr. Loyal and Edith Davis Neurological Research Laboratory. Nancy Reagan’s father, Dr. Loyal Davis, was one of the first neurosurgeons at Barrow.

    Nancy Reagan at Barrow
  17. 1989

    “Internal Decapitation”

    Dr. Volker Sonntag Successfully Treats “Internal Decapitation.” Barrow and Dr. Volker Sonntag make international headlines with the successful reattachment of the skull of a boy whose skull was severed from his spine.

    Amazing internal decapitation treatment
  18. 1990
    1992

    Thoracoscopic Spinal Surgery

    Dr. Curtis Dickman Pioneers Thoracoscopic Spinal Surgery. Dr. Dickman devises a method of operating on the spine using endoscopic tools through small incisions in the chest.

    Thorascoscopic Spinal Surgery
  19. 1994

    First Celebrity Fight Night Held

    The first annual Celebrity Fight Night is held. The star-studded event has raised funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow since its inception.

    First celeb fight night
  20. 1997

    The Champ Teams with Barrow

    The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute is founded.

    Muhammad Ali "The Champ"
  21. 1997

    Neuroscience Research Tower Opens

    A $40-million Neuroscience Research Center, now known as the Marian H. Rochelle Neuroscience Research Center, opens on the Barrow Campus.

    Neuroscience Towers at Barrow Neurological Institute
  22. 1999

    Cavernous Malformations

    Barrow researchers, led by Dr. Joseph Zabramski and Dr. Eric Johnson, identify the gene that causes the inherited form of cerebral cavernous malformations.

    Dr. Joseph Zabramski and Dr Eric Johnson
  23. 2000
    2002

    Dr. James Pipe Creates Propeller MRI

    Dr. James Pipe at Barrow creates the new Propeller Method to assemble MRI scan images. The new method allows clinicians to obtain clear MRI images regardless of patient motion.

    Dr. James Pipe
  24. 2003

    Hypothalamic Hamartoma Program

    Barrow opens the nation’s first Hypothalamic Hamartoma (HH) program, successfully removing the devastating brain tumor from hundreds of children from all over the world.

    greyscale illustration
  25. 2005

    Eller Telepresence Conference Room Opens

    Barrow installs the nation’s first Med Presence video-conferencing unit, facilitating real-time global consultations during surgery.

    Eller Telepresence Conference Room
  26. 2006

    Neuroscience Tower Opens

    The 430,000 square foot Barrow Neuroscience Tower opens, creating the largest neuroscience center in the nation. It houses some of the most advanced operating rooms in the world.

    Neuroscience Tower Opens
  27. 2007

    Dr. Spetzler’s 5,000th Aneurysm Procedure

    Dr. Robert Spetzler clips his 5,000th aneurysm, believed to be the most of any neurosurgeon in the world.

    Dr. Spetzler’s 5,000th Aneurysm Procedure
  28. 2009

    Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center Expands

    The expansion makes the center the largest center for Parkinson’s disease treatment and outreach in the Southwestern United States.

    Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center Expands
  29. 2010
    2010

    Brain Tumor Research Center Opens

    The Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center opens with Dr. Nader Sanai as director. The main goal of the center is to prolong patient survival and eventually find a cure for glioblastoma multiforme tumor

    Dr. Nader Sanai
  30. 2011

    Barrow Center for Neuromodulation Created

    The Barrow Neuromodulation Center, under the direction of Dr. Francisco Ponce, is created to treat patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders using deep brain stimulation (DBS). In addition, the center will participate in clinical trials exploring the use of DBS for other conditions. The center became just the second institution in the country to perform DBS on patients under general anesthesia (asleep DBS), and is now the first to offer placement of both leads and the stimulator pack in the same surgical procedure.

    Dr. Francisco Ponce
  31. 2011

    Neuromuscular & ALS Research Center Created

    The Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Research Center, headed by Dr. Robert Bowser, is created to treat patients with complex degenerative neuromuscular diseases.

    Neuromuscular & ALS Research Center Created
  32. 2016

    Using Artificial Intelligence to Fight ALS

    Barrow Professor of Neurobiology Dr. Robert Bowser uses IBM’s Watson for Drug Discovery to identify five genes that had never before been linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

    Using Artificial Intelligence to Fight ALS
  33. 2017

    Dr. Michael Lawton as President and CEO

    Dr. Lawton spent his seven-year medical residency training at Barrow under Dr. Spetzler and went on to build a prominent cerebrovascular service in California. He returned to Barrow to succeed Dr. Spetzler after an extensive national search.

    Dr. Lawton and Dr. Spetzler
  34. 2018

    Dr. Juan Uribe Joins Barrow

    Dr. Juan Uribe joins as Chief of the Division of Spinal Disorders. He also serves as the Volker Sonntag chair of spine research and vice chairman of neurosurgery. Dr. Uribe brings expertise in minimally invasive spine surgery and robotic spine surgery.

    Dr. Juan Uribe
  35. 2018

    New Surgical Robot

    Barrow Redefines Spine Surgery With New Surgical Robot. Barrow neurosurgeons begin performing spinal fusion surgeries with the Globus Medical ExcelsiusGPS. Developed at Barrow, the device utilizes navigation technology, imaging, and robotics to increase precision and reduce recovery times.

    New Surgical Robot
  36. 2019

    Dr. Francisco Ponce performs performs his 1000th DBS Procedure

    Neurosurgeon Francisco Ponce, MD, performs his 1000th deep brain stimulation (DBS) procedure.

    Ponce performs his 1000th DBS Procedure
  37. 2020
    2021

    Neuroplex

    Fulfilling Dr. Robert Spetzler’s dream of a grand entry for Barrow, the Neuroplex will house our Department of Neurosurgery, an ambulatory surgery center, a pre-admission center for neurosurgery, a neuro-infusion suite, and the neuro-oncology, stroke, and neuro-endocrinrology divisions of our Department of Neurology.

    Barrow Neurological Institute Neuroplex

ONWARD…

To advance the knowledge and practice of medicine in neuroscience through basic and clinical research, education of medical professionals, and innovation in clinical techniques and technology.