Dorcas Hager Padget: neuroembryologist and neurosurgical illustrator trained at Johns Hopkins.

Ryan M. Kretzer, Ranice W. Crosby, David A. Rini, Rafael J. Tamargo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Dorcas Hager Padget was a pioneer in the fields of neurosurgical illustration and neuroembryology who practiced during the early 20th century at The Johns Hopkins University. Without a college degree, she trained as a medical illustrator in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine's Department of Art as Applied to Medicine under Max Brödel. She began her career working for Walter Dandy as his medical artist, gaining worldwide recognition for her neurosurgical illustrations. With Dandy's encouragement, Hager Padget undertook her own scientific research, studying neurodevelopment and aneurysm formation in the circle of Willis by using human embryos from the world-renowned Carnegie Collection. She made lasting contributions to the field of neuroembryology, publishing the first major work on neurodevelopment of the cerebral arterial and venous systems. Following Dandy's death in 1946, Hager Padget began a full-time career as a scientific researcher, first at the Department of Embryology at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore and later at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She continued to make contributions to the field of congenital malformations of the brain and spine, coining the term "neuroschisis" to describe a possible mechanism of neural tube damage leading to the creation of a myelomeningocele. The authors describe Dorcas Hager Padget's contributions to neurosurgical illustration and neuroembryology, as well as her remarkable career.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-730
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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