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Department of Neurology

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Department of Neurology is dedicated to providing outstanding medical care for patients with neurological diseases, comprehensive training of future neurologists and neuroscientists, and making new discoveries through basic and clinical research concerning the cause, diagnosis, and treatment of neurological diseases.

Our History

The origin of the University of Tennessee can be traced to 1794 when the Legislature of the Federal Territory chartered Blount College in Knoxville (William Blount was the governor of the territory). The college became East Tennessee State College in 1807, was designated a Federal Land-Grant Institution in 1869, and was named the University of Tennessee in 1879. Over the years, the University grew to comprise 21 different colleges in several locations. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis was established in 1911, and has developed into one of the country's largest and most comprehensive groupings of health sciences programs. Currently, 2000 students are enrolled in the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Basic Medical Sciences, Community and Allied Health Professions, and the Graduate School of Medical Sciences.

When the University of Tennessee College of Medicine was established in 1911, the first professor and chairman of Psychiatry and Neurology was Dr. B. F. Turner, the "father" of Neuropsychiatry in Memphis. Neurology became independent of psychiatry in the 1930s, when Dr. Nicholas Gott, a neurosurgeon, assumed the chairmanship. He was succeeded by a neurologist, Dr. Gene M. Lassiter, in 1957, and by Dr. Robert Utterback in 1959. Under Dr.Utterback'ss leadership, Neurology became a major teaching and scientific discipline, and achieved independent Departmental status in 1967. Basic research was greatly expanded and the Charles B. Stout Neuroscience Mass Spectrometry Laboratory was established. After Dr.Utterback'ss untimely death in 1974, a number of nationally eminent neurologists headed the Department. In 1992, the University recruited William Pulsinelli, PhD, MD from Cornell Medical Center/New York Hospital to assume the Chairmanship in Neurology.

In 1992, the University recruited William Pulsinelli, PhD, MD from Cornell Medical Center/New York Hospital as Chairman. Dr. Pulsinelli stepped down from the position after 20 years of devoted service to the program. In 2014, the University recruited Andrei V. Alexandrov, MD. He served as Chair of the Department of Neurology and Semmes-Murphey Professor from 2014 until April 2023. He directed the UT Mobile Stroke Unit, an ambulance equipped with a state-of-the-art CT scanner performing head and neck CTA. 

UTHSC Mobile Stroke Unit Receives $1.1 Million Grant From Assisi Foundation of Memphis

UTHSC Chancellor speaking at a podiumThe University of Tennessee Health Science Center announced today that the Assisi Foundation of Memphis has awarded a $1.1 million grant to the UTHSC Mobile Stroke Unit. Read More

Learn more about the accredited, life-saving UTHSC Mobile Stroke Unit:

Apr 18, 2023