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NeuroScience Center Bryan Robinson Endowment

History and Biography
Bryan RobinsonThe Bryan Robinson Endowment is the brainchild of Bryan Robinson, MD and Frank Davis, MD, founders of the Tallahassee Neurological Clinic.

Bryan Robinson was born in Thomasville, GA in 1929. He was educated at Davidson College, received his MD at Emory University and did his postgraduate training at Stanford.

Frank Davis was born in Montgomery, AL in 1935. He was raised in Atlanta and received his neurosurgical training at Tulane University.

Drs. Robinson and Davis established themselves in the Tallahassee area, sharing neurological medical coverage. In December of 1967, Dr. Robinson and Dr. Davis had dinner and discussed ways to support education and research in neurology and neurosurgery. Drs. Robinson and Davis founded the Tallahassee Neurological Clinic in 1970 and the Tallahassee Neurological Foundation in 1972.

While Drs. Robinson and Davis established and served the people of Tallahassee, Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield of Hayes England was developing an EMI scanner. The first prototype took 160 parallel readings through 180 angles, each 1° apart, with each scan taking a little over five minutes. The images from these scans took 2.5 hours to be processed by algebraic reconstruction techniques on a large computer.

The first EMI-Scanner was installed at Atkinson Morley's Hospital in Wimbledon, England. In the United States, the first installation was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. A second machine was later installed at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Over time, an EMI Scanner became a CAT (Computerized Axial Tomogram) Scan which has been shortened to CT scan.

Realizing the possibilities a CT scanner would provide the patients of Tallahassee, Dr. Robinson traveled to England and with the help of the Tallahassee Neurological Foundation and purchased a CT scanner for $347,000. The CT scanner was installed at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in 1974 on the condition that all proceeds would go towards paying the CT scanner note. However, once the note was paid, all proceeds would benefit the hospital.

The foresight of Dr. Robinson and the Tallahassee Neurological Foundation allowed Tallahassee to own the 10th CT in the United States and the first in the State of Florida. The CT scanner quickly paid for itself and the money from the Tallahassee Neurological Foundation was repaid as well. Eventually, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital would dedicate a floor of the hospital dedicated to neurology and neurosurgery. In time, an intensive care unit and operating rooms were added as well.

Sadly, Dr. Robinson passed away at that age of 49 from an in-operable brain tumor. Dr. Davis took presidency of the Tallahassee Neurological Foundation and the name was changed to the Bryan W. Robinson Neurological Foundation.

In February 1998, the Bryan W. Robinson Neurological Foundation merged with the Tallahassee Memorial Foundation and became the Bryan W. Robinson Endowment for NeuroScience.

As a tax exempt organization, neither the founders nor serving officers benefit from the funds; 100% of contributions are used for education and research.

Since 1983, approximately $750,000 has gone to education and research.

  • 114 emerging scientists have received grants up to $3,000. Typically students of Florida State University and the University of Florida, recipients receive extra funding, allowing for further research.
  • Six special grants of $3,500 to $20,000 have been awarded for various projects and programs.
    • $5,000 has gone towards the “Think First” educational outreach program that teaches local students how to avoid and prevent head and spinal cord injury.
    • Up to $5,000 a year goes to maintaining a neurological library within the hospital accessed by nurses and physicians;
    • Up to $8,000 a year benefits the NeuroScience Center for educational programs conducted with Florida State University.