The Department of Neurology at the University of Wisconsin provides state-of-the-art care for people afflicted with diseases of the nervous system, conducts research in basic and clinical neuroscience, and offers medical students, residents and fellows intensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. The Department’s mission of clinical service, research and teaching is pursued at the University Hospital, the Middleton Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, the School of Medicine and Public Health, and in a diverse set of clinical outreach sites within the state of Wisconsin.
The faculty and academic staff of the department currently consists of over 150 individuals engaged in a broad range of clinical and academic activities. Neurology faculty and academic staff include neurologists, neuropsychologists and scientists who are engaged in basic and clinical research, and also contribute to educational programs of the Department. There are more than 28 trainees in a variety of residency, fellowship, and postdoctoral programs.
The Department of Neurology at the University of Wisconsin evolved from the Department of Neuropsychiatry, which was established in 1925. The first Chair of the Department of Neuropsychiatry was Dr. W. F. Lorenz, who served in this capacity until 1939. Dr. Hans Reese succeeded Dr. Lorenz and served from 1940–1946. From 1946–1954, the Chair rotated among Drs. Lorenz, Mabel Marsten, Hans Reese, and W. J. Bleckwenn.
In 1956, the Department of Neuropsychiatry was divided into the Department of Psychiatry and Department of Neurology, led by Dr. Reese until 1958. Dr. Francis M. Forster, one of the four founding members of the American Academy of Neurology and Dean of the Georgetown University Medical School, assumed the Chair in 1958 and continued in this role through 1977. Drs. Harold Booker and Raymond Chun served as acting Chairs until 1980, when Dr. Henry S. Schutta began a fifteen–year tenure as head of the Department. Dr. Thomas P. Sutula was appointed chair in 1995, and served for 21 years until Dr. Kathleen Shannon was appointed in 2016.