AUA Member Dr. Emery N. Brown presents the 2020 DeWitt Stetten Jr. Lecture

AUA Member Emery N. Brown, MD, PhD will present the 2020 DeWitt Stetten Jr. Lecture on “Rethinking General Anesthesia” on Wednesday, November 18 at 3:00 pm ET, sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Despite employing general anesthesia for more than 165 years in the United States, and more than 100,000 Americans being anesthetized each day for surgery, how anesthetic drugs work is still a mystery. A neuroscientist, statistician and anesthesiologist and the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and Computational Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dr. Brown will attempt to uncover some answers behind this quandary.

Through his groundbreaking research in statistics, mechanistic modeling, neuroscience, and the clinical practice of anesthesiology, he has discovered new ways of monitoring patients’ brain states during general anesthesia, as well as strategies for drug dosing and precisely controlling the anesthetic state. He has also established signal processing algorithms and statistical methods for the dynamic properties of neuroscience data. His future aims include establishing a neurophysiological definition of anesthesia and developing safer, site-specific anesthetic drugs and better methods for measuring depth of anesthesia.

Dr. Brown also serves as the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. At MIT, he also fills the roles of Director, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program, Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Associate Director, Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and Investigator, Picower Center for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Beginning with a grant for statistical analysis of circadian rhythms in 1996, NIGMS has been a long-time supporter of Dr. Brown’s research. He currently has two NIGMS grants and actively contributes to the NIH, including as a member of the NIH BRAIN Initiative Working Group. Previously, he has received NIH support from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging, and the Office of the Director. In recognition of his many accomplishments, he has received multiple awards including the Society for Neuroscience’s 2020 Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience, the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award in 2012, and the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award in 2007.

Be sure to join the video lecture on Wednesday, November 18 as Dr. Brown rethinks the practice of general anesthesia. More information and the NIH Videocast link for the lecture are available at