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Bryan Jennett

Born 1 March 1926, London, England.
Died 24 January 2008.

The leading neurosurgeon of his day, with Graham Teasdale, he created the Glasgow Coma Scale and with Michael Bond, he created the Glasgow Outcome Scale.

Connection to the University of Glasgow: Professor

Discover more neurosurgeons on the University of Glasgow Story website


The following achievements are associated with Bryan Jennett:

Developing the Glasgow Coma Scale
Graham Teasdale and Bryan Jennett's Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is used in hospitals all over the world to provide a quick and reliable assessment of the conscious state of a patient with a suspected brain injury.

Developing the Glasgow Outcome Scale
Bryan Jennett and Michael Bond's Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) is the most widely used scale for assessing patient outcome after a serious head injury.


The following honours are associated with this person:


William Bryan Jennett (1926-2008) was the first Professor of Neurosurgery at the University, from 1968 to 1991. He was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, 1981 to 1986.

A graduate of the University of Liverpool (MB, ChB 1949 and MD, 1960), Jennett held junior hospital posts and completed his National Service as a surgical specialist in the RAMC before continuing his training as a Neurosurgeon at Liverpool, Oxford and Cardiff. He was appointed Lecturer in Neurosurgery at the University of Manchester in 1957 and came to Glasgow as Consultant Neurosurgeon in 1963. In 1968, he was appointed to what was the first full-time chair of Neurosurgery in Scotland.

Jennett was considered the leading neurosurgeon of his generation, who coined the term "vegetative state" with Dr Fred Plum in 1972 and created the famous "Glasgow Coma Scale" with Graham Teasdale in 1974. His publications included the ground-breaking Epilepsy after Blunt Head Injury (1962), An Introduction to Neurosurgery (1964) (which has appeared in five editions), Management of Head Injuries (1981) and The Vegetative State: medical facts, ethical and legal dilemmas (2002). He was made a CBE in 1992.