History of UIC Neurosurgery


The Founding of the Neuropsychiatric Institute
(the NPI)

The University of Illinois at Chicago established the Neuropsychiatric Institute, dedicated to the study of the neurosciences, in 1939. It was the first institute of its kind in the United States and promoted many advances in the fields of Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Psychiatry. The Department of Neurosurgery has included such illustrious figures as Dr. Eric Oldberg (the first Department Head), Dr. Paul Bucy, and Dr. Percival Bailey.

The NPI in 1940

Laying the of the cornerstone of The Neuropsychiatric Institute, May 9, 1939

 Dedication Ceremony: June 6, 1942



Surgery at the NPI

The first operating room case was on December 9, 1941 which was performed by Drs. Oldberg and Green. The next day these two doctors would perform the second case involving a ventricular tumor.

One of the most notable cases to take place was the separation of the conjoined Brodie twins in 1952. The surgeon, Dr. Oscar Surgar, was able to successfully separate the twins, however, only one was to survive the procedure. The remaining twin, Rodney, lived until the age 11.
Surgery on the 7th Floor of the North Tower, NPI
The Brodie Twins
Surgery to separate the Brodie twins, performed by Dr. O. Sugar
Rodney Brodie at the age of 10


The Men Behind the Masks:
the First neurosurgeons at the NPI

Eric Oldberg (Cushing resident)
Percival Bailey (Cushing resident)
Paul Bucy
James Poppen
Wesley Gustafson
Milton Tinsley
Joshua Spiegel
Oscar Sugar
Luis Amador

Dr. Oldberg and Dr. Bailey
Dr. Sugar during Friday morning rounds. (1981)
Drs. Harvey Cushing and Eric Oldberg
Mayor Richard J. Daley and Dr. Eric Oldberg (1975)
Dr. H. Cushing


 Chairmen of the NPI

Eric Oldberg, 1936 - 1971
Oscar Sugar, 1971 - 1981
Robert Crowell, 1982 - 1989
James Ausman, 1991 - 2001
Fady T. Charbel, 2001 - present
Eric Oldberg
Oscar Sugar

Robert Crowell
James Ausman
Fady T. Charbel