Robert E. Harbaugh, M.D. '78 receives the 2013 Penn State Alumni Fellow Award

Robert E. Harbaugh, M.D. '78

Robert E. Harbaugh is director of the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences; distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery; and professor of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Harbaugh is internationally recognized for his contributions to neurosurgery research and cerebrovascular surgery. His scholarship—which spans basic, translational, and clinical research—has not only advanced scientific understanding, but also resulted in improvements in patient care and neurosurgical training. His leadership as director of the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences has positioned the University as a leader in multidisciplinary neuroscience research.

After graduating from the College of Medicine, Harbaugh completed his neurosurgery training at Dartmouth. He was appointed assistant professor of surgery (neurosurgery) at Dartmouth in 1985 and professor of surgery (neurosurgery) in 1997. At Dartmouth, Harbaugh served as director of the Cerebrovascular Disease Center and director of the Neurosurgical Laboratory until 2003, when he returned to the Penn State Hershey Medical Center to serve as the first chair of the Penn State Department of Neurosurgery. Under his leadership the new Department of Neurosurgery has become a national leader in patient care, education and research.

Harbaugh has held numerous leadership positions in major neurosurgical organizations; edited three books; published more than 230 articles, book chapters, and abstracts; and delivered invited lectures around the world. He currently serves as the president-elect of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons; director and treasurer of the American Board of Neurological Surgery; and is a member of the National Football League's Head, Neck, and Spine Committee. Harbaugh has also served on the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Board of Directors.

Harbaugh and his wife, Kimberly (also a neurosurgeon), are life members of the Penn State Alumni Association. They have five children and reside in Hershey, Pa.