Emery N. Brown

Harvard University

Election Year: 2014
Primary Section: 28, Systems Neuroscience
Secondary Section: 32, Applied Mathematical Sciences
Membership Type: Member


Emery N. Brown is the Edward Hood Taplin Professor of Medical Engineering and professor of computational neuroscience at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and an anesthesiologist at MGH. Brown received his B.A. (magna cum laude) in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College, his M.A. and Ph.D. in statistics from Harvard University, and his M.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Medical School. He completed his internship in internal medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his residency in anesthesiology at MGH. Brown is an anesthesiologist-statistician recognized for developing signal processing algorithms for neuroscience data analysis and for defining the neurophysiological mechanisms of general anesthesia. Brown was a member of the NIH BRAIN Initiative Working Group. He received an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the National Institute of Statistical Sciences Sacks Award and the American Society of Anesthesiologists Excellence in Research Award. He is a fellow of the IEEE, the AAAS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors. Brown is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.

Research Interests

Emery N. Brown has developed the state-space point process paradigm to solve neuroscience data analysis challenges: decode how neurons dynamically represent information in their group spiking activity; characterize neural receptive field formation, neural activity during motor learning, and behavioral changes during learning; and develop control systems for neural prosthetics and for anesthesia delivery. Brown co-founded and co-directed the Woods Hole Neuroinformatics summer course and the biannual Carnegie-Mellon Statistical Analysis of Neural Data workshop. He co-authored the neuroscience statistics textbook, Analysis of Neural Data (Springer, 2014). Brown established and leads an interdisciplinary team at MGH, MIT and Boston University which has developed: the first detailed neurophysiological descriptions of anesthetic mechanisms; new strategies for monitoring and controlling the anesthetic states of the brain; and ways to rapidly induce emergence from general anesthesia and sedation. The research is developing personalized, side-effect-free anesthesia care firmly rooted in neuroscience.

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