Meet Emery Brown, M.D., PhD

Emery N. Brown, M.D., PhD is the Warren M. Zapol Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor of Health Sciences & Technology; and Professor of Computational Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Brown is also Director of the Neuroscience Statistics Research Laboratory, Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Brown presented a SftPublic lecture in November, 2011, Revealing the Brain through States of Unconsciousness at Boston University.


Dr. Brown received his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School and later his Ph.D. in statistics at Harvard. His list of awards and honors is very extensive, among them the Jerome Sack Award for Cross-Disciplinary Research from the National Institute of Statistics Science, and the NIH Director's Pioneer Award. Dr. Brown is a Fellow of three major organizations: the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institution for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Statistical Association.

Dr. Brown pioneered interdisciplinary work in modern medical research together with improved statistical analysis of the huge amount of data that is generated in his field. He and his colleagues have made significant breakthroughs in determining how anesthesia works (which is still a substantial mystery) by combining statistics, medicine and bio-engineering. For this work he is widely recognized as a leader in anesthesia studies. The discoveries of how anesthesia actually works obviously benefits patients in the operating room. But equally important, Dr.Brown and his colleagues have developed important new insights about the brain, particularly how the brain functions in different states of unconsciousness: general anesthesia, coma, and normal sleep. The discoveries in this respect are important in brain science more generally, and will have far-reaching impact.