Appointment of a University of Minnesota Medical School faculty member as the Rockswold-Kaplan Endowed Chair at Hennepin Healthcare begins a new era of collaboration

by Hennepin Healthcare

David Darrow, MD, MPH, University of Minnesota Medical School, Rockswold-Kaplan Endowed Chair, department of neurosurgery, Research and InnoVation Economy ProgramThe Rockswold-Kaplan Endowed Chair for Traumatic Brain Injury was created in 2014 to advance research and innovations at the Hennepin Healthcare Traumatic Brain Injury Center. This endowed chair was funded by the generosity of Elliot and Eloise Kaplan in gratitude for the care Eloise received, and by Hennepin Healthcare neurosurgeon and University of Minnesota Neurosurgery Program alumni Gaylan Rockswold, MD.

Hennepin Healthcare is proud to announce that this prestigious Endowed Chair will be bestowed to David Darrow, MD, MPH, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Neurosurgery.

Dr. Darrow joined the Department of Neurosurgery in 2020 as an appointed Scholar in the Institute of Translation Neurosciences (ITN), a Chandler Fellow, and a Fellow in the MnDRIVE (Minnesota Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy) Program. A prolific scholar, Dr. Darrow completed dual degrees in mathematics and physics as an undergraduate and a combined MD/MPH degree during his medical training. In addition to fulfilling the rigorous clinical demands of a neurosurgery residency at the U of M Medical School, Dr. Darrow initiated key collaborations with the Departments of Psychiatry, Bioengineering, and Neurology resulting in several innovative clinical trials including the landmark E-STAND (Epidural Stimulation After Neurologic Damage) study, which aimed to optimize epidural spinal cord stimulation as means to restore volitional movement in spinal cord injury patients. As a functional neurosurgeon focusing on neuromodulation and electrophysiology to elucidate new treatment options and mechanism of disease, Dr. Darrow brings a new lens to understanding and treating traumatic injuries of the central nervous system.

“The intention of the Kaplans and myself in creating this endowed chair is to attract the brightest minds and advance the treatment for those suffering from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries,” shared benefactor Gaylan Rockswold, MD. “The appointment of Dr. Darrow does just that.”

The appointment is historic as it is the first time an endowed chair in the Hennepin Healthcare system was awarded to a faculty member whose primary appointment resides in the U of M Medical School’s Department of Neurosurgery and reflects a renewed, programmatic effort to foster collaboration between the two entities.

“Hennepin Healthcare neurosurgeons Thomas Bergman and Walter Galicich are already highly valued adjunct professors in our neurosurgery department at the U of M Medical School,” said Clark C. Chen, MD, PhD, the Lyle French Chair and head of the Department of Neurosurgery at the U of M Medical School. “I believe that Dr. Darrow’s appointment will further enhance opportunities for clinical and research collaborations.”

Dr. Bergman and Dr. Galicich welcome Dr. Darrow into the leadership role of the Traumatic Brain Injury Center:

“We are delighted to have Dr. Darrow join Hennepin Healthcare as the Rockswold-Kaplan Endowed Chair.  He brings powerful and exciting analytical research tools to our Traumatic Brain Injury Center.  In his role as director of the Center, he will lead our research efforts in the field of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Dr. Darrow’s skill set will allow us to continue our tradition of advancing neurotrauma care and research for Minnesota and beyond.”

Daniel Hoody, MD, the Interim Chief Medical Officer of Hennepin Healthcare, further notes:  “I am confident that this collaboration between the clinical expertise of Hennepin Healthcare and the research experience of the University of Minnesota Medical School will position us well to continue our outstanding neurotrauma care for the communities that we are proud to serve.”

About Hennepin Healthcare

Hennepin Healthcare is an integrated system of care that includes HCMC, a nationally recognized Level I Adult Trauma Center and Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and acute care hospital and a clinic system. The comprehensive health system includes a large outpatient Clinic & Specialty Center downtown and a network of clinics in the North Loop, and Whittier neighborhoods in Minneapolis as well as clinics in the suburban communities of Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Richfield, and St. Anthony Village. Hennepin Healthcare has a large medical education program, psychiatric service, home care and hospice, and operates a research institute, philanthropic foundation, and Hennepin EMS. The system is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County. For more information, visit

About the University of Minnesota Medical School

The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. We acknowledge that the U of M Medical School, both the Twin Cities campus and Duluth campus, is located on traditional, ancestral and contemporary lands of the Dakota and the Ojibwe, and scores of other Indigenous people, and we affirm our commitment to tribal communities and their sovereignty as we seek to improve and strengthen our relations with tribal nations. For more information about the U of M Medical School, please visit