Dr. Richard A. Neubauer is recognized internationally as a pioneer in the application of HBOT. Born in Wilmington, DE, Dr. Neubauer completed his medical training at the University of Virginia in 1947 with the honorary stature of Alpha Omega Alpha. He conducted research and had a clinical medical practice in Delaware and Pennsylvania before re-locating to South Florida in 1962. In Fort Lauderdale, he practiced internal medicine and helped establish Beach Hospital where he served as Chief of Staff and Director of Medical development.
In the early 1970s, he became interested in the potential applications of HBOT and in 1972, opened and directed the Ocean Hyperbaric Neurologic Center in Lauderdale-by -the-Sea, FL. His research showed that with the use of a hyperbaric chamber, pressurized oxygen could restore the function of damaged central nervous system neurons. In a hypoxic brain injury, whether the injury is traumatic, toxic, stroke, near drowning, etc. oxygen fails to reach parts of the brain. As a result, some injured neurons die, and some injured neurons remain alive but dormant.
Injured or “idling” neurons, as Dr. Neubauer referred to them, can survive for years or decades after the original injury. He discovered that these injured neurons could be re-activated with HBOT, and the greater the number of idling neurons, the better the patient’s response to HBOT would be. Dr. Neubauer successfully treated many patients worldwide with neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, anoxic encephalopathy, coma, stroke, and mitochondrial diseases.
Dr. Neubauer’s research led him to the conclusion that HBOT would be an important therapy in the fields of neurology, neuroscience and neurorehabilitation. As his international reputation grew, Dr. Neubauer was invited as a lecturer on hyperbaric medicine at medical conferences in the U.S., Austria, France Italy, Cuba, China, Africa and Australia. He wrote numerous articles for many scientific journals, including Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, American Family Physician, Journal of Neurosurgery, Journal of Hyperbaric Medicine, Physician & Sports Medicine, Lancet and Stroke.
Dr. Neubauer received many honors throughout his professional life. He was elected to the Royal Society of Medicine. He was the co-founder and executive director of the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine and a member of the World Federation of Neurology Executive Committee on Underwater Medicine. He was also Diplomat of the American Board of Hyperbaric Medicine.
Dr. Neubauer is the author and co-author of several important books in the field of HBOT: Hyperbaric Oxygenation for Cerebral Palsy and the Brain Injured Child (2003), Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy with Morton Walker (2001) and Textbook of Hyperbaric Medicine with several co-authors including K.K. Jain and Paul Harch (2004).
Dr. Neubauer was active with his research and clinical work until the last few weeks of his life. After his death in 2007 at the age of 83, his clinical research center in Florida was renamed the Neubauer Hyperbaric Neurologic Center. Dr. Neubauer’s lifelong dedication and leadership in HBOT research has been instrumental to the expansion of professional and public awareness of the importance of HBOT in clinical therapy throughout the world.