The founding director of MGH’s Department of Psychiatry, Cobb was a leader in developing medical psychiatry in the United States. A grant program recruited distinguished psychiatrists to do a rotation at Mass General before founding psychiatry departments in other general hospitals throughout the country. Cobb had studied neuropsychiatry in Europe and brought back the latest developments. He also led the neurology unit at Boston City Hospital from 1930 to 1934. A proponent of psychoanalysis, Cobb found places on the Harvard faculty for many Jewish analysts fleeing the Nazis.