Barbara Jobst MD, Dr. med, Named Chair of Neurology Department

Barbara Jobst, MD, PhD. Photo by Mark Washburn

Barbara C. Jobst, MD, Dr. med, has been named the new chair of the Department of Neurology for Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. Previously, Jobst served as vice chair of Neurology and section chief of Adult Neurology. She has directed the Epilepsy Center at D-H and is the Louis and Ruth Frank Professor of Neuroscience at Geisel. She succeeds Jeffrey A. Cohen, MD, who retired as department chair in January 2021. Jobst is the first woman to serve as chair of Neurology at D-H and Geisel.

“I am thrilled to be chosen as the next Neurology chair as I see it as an opportunity shape and educate the next generation of neurological researchers and physicians,” Jobst said. “It will be my job to make the department even more successful than it already is, and I am excited to work with my colleagues at D-H and Geisel to achieve that goal.”

Jobst completed her medical training in her native Germany, along with a student exchange at Geisel in 1992, and has been with D-H since 1996. She has successfully grown the reach and impact of the Epilepsy Center regionally and nationally, and is the creator of the Home-Based Self-Management and Cognitive Training Changes Lives (HOBSCOTCH) program, developed at D-H, specifically for people with epilepsy and designed to help improve memory problems.  Her other work includes studying implanted brain stimulation devices that detect seizure activity in the brain and wirelessly transmit the information to a patient’s neurologist for treatment. She also studied brain stimulation for memory improvement.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Jobst has agreed to take on this important leadership role,” said Duane Compton, PhD, Dean of the Geisel School of Medicine.  “In addition to being a skilled clinician and passionate advocate for her patients, Dr. Jobst also truly embodies the research and education missions of our medical school—leading an innovative Epilepsy research program, as well as training future physicians and actively leading the development of a new neuroscience graduate program to train the next generation of researchers.”

Jobst’s many honors and awards include the Transforming Leader Fellowship Award from the American Academy of Neurology, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Kniffin-Penry Award for Excellence in Epilepsy Care from the American Epilepsy Society, and the New Hampshire Tech Alliance’s TechWomen/TechGirls Tech Professional of the Year Award.

“Barbara embodies the ultimate goal of physicians, which is to better the health and quality of life of our patients,” said Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH) Chief Clinical Officer Edward J. Merrens, MD. “Through her research and innovations, there have been marked improvements to the treatment of epilepsy and outcomes for people with the disorder. She inspires her colleagues at D-H to do and be better, and has put our epilepsy program on the map for the quality of care we provide. The Neurology Department overall will benefit greatly from her leadership and I look forward to its continued growth.”

As Neurology chair, Jobst said she hopes to create a Brain Institute between D-H, Geisel and Dartmouth College, that brings neuroscience researchers together to study neuropsychiatric disease and develop innovative treatments for diseases such as stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS) and others. Basic and translational research will inform clinical care.

“There’s lots of groundbreaking brain research happening at D-H and Geisel that the public should know about,” Jobst said. “As Neurology chair, I look forward to continuing to raise the profile of our department, by providing the best neurologic care possible and expanding the amount of research we do to improve people’s lives.”