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Biographical entry Campbell, Alfred Walter (Snowy) (1868 - 1937)

18 January 1868
Cunningham Plains, New South Wales, Australia
4 November 1937
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Neurologist and Pathologist


Alfred Campbell was renowned as one of the pioneers of the study of the neuronal architecture of the primate cerebral cortex. His neuroanatomical and neuropathological research was conducted while Medical Officer and Director of Pathology at the Rainhill County Mental Hospital near Leeds in England. The results of his intensive studies of the histological structure of the human cerebral cortex were published in his landmark book Histological studies on the localisation of cerebral function (1905). On returning to Australia, Campbell was the first to have a full-time neurological practice in Australia. For some years he was honorary consultant to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children and the Coast (Prince Henry) Hospital, Sydney. He research, some of which was unpublished, included work on poliomyelitis and Australian X-disease (probably Murray Valley Encephalitis). While serving with the Australian Army Medical Corps during WWI and afterwards as a consultant to the Department of Repatriation, Campbell was particularly involved with the treatment of nervous conditions and those caused by mental stress.



Education - MB ChM, University of Edinburgh
Education - MD, University of Edinburgh
1892 - 1905
Career position - Medical Officer and Director of Pathology, Rainhill County Mental Hospital, near Liverpool, England
1905 - ?
Career position - Honorary Captain, Australian Army Medical Corps
1905 - 1937
Career position - In private practice as specialist in neurology and mental diseases, Sydney
1907 - 1937
Career position - Member, Royal Society of New South Wales
1914 - 1915
Career position - 2nd Australian General Hospital, Cairo
1916 - 1918
Career position - Military Hospital, Randwick, New South Wales
Career position - Chairman, Neurology and Psychiatry Section , New South Wales Branch, British Medical Association
Career position - Chairman, Neurology and Psychiatry Section , New South Wales Branch, British Medical Association

Published resources


  • Macmillan, Malcolm, Snowy Campbell, Australian Pioneer investigator of the brain (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Press, 2016), 239 pp. Details

Book Sections

Journal Articles

  • Eadie, M. J., 'A. W. Campbell: Australia's first neurologist', Clinical and Experimental Neurology, 17 (1981), 27-35. Details
  • Eadie, M.J., 'A.W. Campbell's Australian career: 1905-1937', Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, 8 (6) (2001), 514-9. Details
  • Eadie, M.J., 'Alfred Walter Campbell (1868 - 1937)', Journal of Neurology, 250 (2) (2003), 249-50. Details
  • Macmillan, Malcolm, 'Alfred Walter Campbell and the visual functions of the optical cortex', Cortex, 56 (2014), 157-81. Details


McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn