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Ken Solt, M.D.

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Amherst College, Amherst, MAB.A.05/1996Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PAM.D.05/2000Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA09/2004Anesthesiology
2010 - 2014
NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award
2012 - 2017
NIH Director's Transformative Research Award
2014 - 2020
James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award

I study the mechanisms of emergence and cognitive recovery from general anesthesia using a systems neuroscience approach. In current clinical practice, emergence from general anesthesia is treated as a passive process dictated by the pharmacokinetics of anesthetic drug clearance. My group discovered that methylphenidate (Ritalin) and dopamine agonists induce active emergence from general anesthesia, a process that we term “reanimation.” We subsequently discovered that electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area (VTA), a key dopamine nucleus in the midbrain, also induces reanimation.

I currently direct a translational research program that studies the role of dopamine pathways in restoring consciousness and cognition after general anesthesia. In my laboratory, we combine intracranial stimulation, neurophysiological recordings, and cognitive testing in rodents to elucidate the neural circuits that govern reanimation, while my clinical research program tests novel methods to accelerate recovery of consciousness and cognition in surgical patients. Our long-term goal is to make general anesthesia safer by developing new therapeutic options for common clinical problems such as post-operative delirium and cognitive dysfunction.

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. R01GM126155 (SOLT, KEN) Feb 1, 2019 - Nov 30, 2022
    The Anesthetic Circuitry of the Midbrain
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. P01GM118269 (BROWN, EMERY N.) Feb 10, 2017 - Jan 31, 2022
    Integrated Systems Neuroscience Studies of Anaesthesia
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. Scholar Award in Understanding Human Cognition (SOLT, KEN) Sep 1, 2014 - Aug 31, 2020
    James S. McDonnell Foundation
    Reanimation and Cognitive Recovery from General Anesthesia
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. R01GM104948 (BROWN, EMERY N.) Sep 25, 2012 - Aug 31, 2017
    Redesigning General Anesthesia
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  5. K08GM094394 (SOLT, KEN) Sep 1, 2010 - Aug 31, 2014
    Active Induction of Emergence from General Anesthesia
    Role: Principal Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Melonakos ED, Moody OA, Nikolaeva K, Kato R, Nehs CJ, Solt K. Manipulating Neural Circuits in Anesthesia Research. Anesthesiology. 2020 Jul; 133(1):19-30. PMID: 32349073.
  2. Taylor NE, Long H, Pei J, Kukutla P, Phero A, Hadaegh F, Abdelnabi A, Solt K, Brenner GJ. The rostromedial tegmental nucleus: a key modulator of pain and opioid analgesia. Pain. 2019 11; 160(11):2524-2534. PMID: 31246732.
  3. Hemmings HC, Riegelhaupt PM, Kelz MB, Solt K, Eckenhoff RG, Orser BA, Goldstein PA. Towards a Comprehensive Understanding of Anesthetic Mechanisms of Action: A Decade of Discovery. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2019 07; 40(7):464-481. PMID: 31147199.
  4. Kelz MB, García PS, Mashour GA, Solt K. Escape From Oblivion: Neural Mechanisms of Emergence From General Anesthesia. Anesth Analg. 2019 04; 128(4):726-736. PMID: 30883418.
  5. Yang Y, Lee JT, Guidera JA, Vlasov KY, Pei J, Brown EN, Solt K, Shanechi MM. Developing a personalized closed-loop controller of medically-induced coma in a rodent model. J Neural Eng. 2019 06; 16(3):036022. PMID: 30856619.
  6. Taylor NE, Pei J, Zhang J, Vlasov KY, Davis T, Taylor E, Weng FJ, Van Dort CJ, Solt K, Brown EN. The Role of Glutamatergic and Dopaminergic Neurons in the Periaqueductal Gray/Dorsal Raphe: Separating Analgesia and Anxiety. eNeuro. 2019 Jan-Feb; 6(1). PMID: 31058210.
  7. Plummer GS, Ibala R, Hahm E, An J, Gitlin J, Deng H, Shelton KT, Solt K, Qu JZ, Akeju O. Electroencephalogram dynamics during general anesthesia predict the later incidence and duration of burst-suppression during cardiopulmonary bypass. Clin Neurophysiol. 2019 01; 130(1):55-60. PMID: 30476711.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  8. Solt K. Using Anesthesia to Reveal the Elements of Consciousness. Trends Cogn Sci. 2018 11; 22(11):961-962. PMID: 30104140.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  9. Vlasov K, Van Dort CJ, Solt K. Optogenetics and Chemogenetics. Methods Enzymol. 2018; 603:181-196. PMID: 29673525.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  10. Zhang H, Zhao H, Zeng C, Van Dort C, Faingold CL, Taylor NE, Solt K, Feng HJ. Optogenetic activation of 5-HT neurons in the dorsal raphe suppresses seizure-induced respiratory arrest and produces anticonvulsant effect in the DBA/1 mouse SUDEP model. Neurobiol Dis. 2018 02; 110:47-58. PMID: 29141182.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    
  11. Guidera JA, Taylor NE, Lee JT, Vlasov KY, Pei J, Stephen EP, Mayo JP, Brown EN, Solt K. Sevoflurane Induces Coherent Slow-Delta Oscillations in Rats. Front Neural Circuits. 2017; 11:36. PMID: 28725184.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  12. Purdon PL, Solt K, Sims NM, Brown EN, Westover MB. Design, implementation, and evaluation of a physiological closed-loop control device for medically-induced coma. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2017 07; 2017:4313-4316. PMID: 29060851.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  13. Nagasaka Y, Wepler M, Thoonen R, Sips PY, Allen K, Graw JA, Yao V, Burns SM, Muenster S, Brouckaert P, Miller K, Solt K, Buys ES, Ichinose F, Zapol WM. Sensitivity to Sevoflurane anesthesia is decreased in mice with a congenital deletion of Guanylyl Cyclase-1 alpha. BMC Anesthesiol. 2017 06 14; 17(1):76. PMID: 28615047.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  14. Kenny JD, Chemali JJ, Cotten JF, Van Dort CJ, Kim SE, Ba D, Taylor NE, Brown EN, Solt K. Physostigmine and Methylphenidate Induce Distinct Arousal States During Isoflurane General Anesthesia in Rats. Anesth Analg. 2016 11; 123(5):1210-1219. PMID: 26991753.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  15. Taylor NE, Van Dort CJ, Kenny JD, Pei J, Guidera JA, Vlasov KY, Lee JT, Boyden ES, Brown EN, Solt K. Optogenetic activation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area induces reanimation from general anesthesia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Nov 08; 113(45):12826-12831. PMID: 27791160.
    Citations: 11     Fields:    
  16. Muindi F, Kenny JD, Taylor NE, Solt K, Wilson MA, Brown EN, Van Dort CJ. Electrical stimulation of the parabrachial nucleus induces reanimation from isoflurane general anesthesia. Behav Brain Res. 2016 06 01; 306:20-5. PMID: 26971629.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  17. Kenny JD, Taylor NE, Brown EN, Solt K. Dextroamphetamine (but Not Atomoxetine) Induces Reanimation from General Anesthesia: Implications for the Roles of Dopamine and Norepinephrine in Active Emergence. PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0131914. PMID: 26148114.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  18. Purdon PL, Pavone KJ, Akeju O, Smith AC, Sampson AL, Lee J, Zhou DW, Solt K, Brown EN. The Ageing Brain: Age-dependent changes in the electroencephalogram during propofol and sevoflurane general anaesthesia. Br J Anaesth. 2015 Jul; 115 Suppl 1:i46-i57. PMID: 26174300.
    Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  19. Chemali JJ, Kenny JD, Olutola O, Taylor NE, Kimchi EY, Purdon PL, Brown EN, Solt K. Ageing delays emergence from general anaesthesia in rats by increasing anaesthetic sensitivity in the brain. Br J Anaesth. 2015 Jul; 115 Suppl 1:i58-i65. PMID: 26174302.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  20. Zeng C, Long X, Cotten JF, Forman SA, Solt K, Faingold CL, Feng HJ. Fluoxetine prevents respiratory arrest without enhancing ventilation in DBA/1 mice. Epilepsy Behav. 2015 Apr; 45:1-7. PMID: 25771493.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  21. Kenny JD, Westover MB, Ching S, Brown EN, Solt K. Propofol and sevoflurane induce distinct burst suppression patterns in rats. Front Syst Neurosci. 2014; 8:237. PMID: 25565990.
    Citations: 10     
  22. Solt K, Van Dort CJ, Chemali JJ, Taylor NE, Kenny JD, Brown EN. Electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area induces reanimation from general anesthesia. Anesthesiology. 2014 Aug; 121(2):311-9. PMID: 24398816.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  23. Shanechi MM, Chemali JJ, Liberman M, Solt K, Brown EN. A brain-machine interface for control of medically-induced coma. PLoS Comput Biol. 2013 Oct; 9(10):e1003284. PMID: 24204231.
    Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  24. Ching S, Liberman MY, Chemali JJ, Westover MB, Kenny JD, Solt K, Purdon PL, Brown EN. Real-time closed-loop control in a rodent model of medically induced coma using burst suppression. Anesthesiology. 2013 Oct; 119(4):848-60. PMID: 23770601.
    Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  25. Chemali J, Ching S, Purdon PL, Solt K, Brown EN. Burst suppression probability algorithms: state-space methods for tracking EEG burst suppression. J Neural Eng. 2013 Oct; 10(5):056017. PMID: 24018288.
    Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  26. Shanechi MM, Chemali JJ, Liberman M, Solt K, Brown EN. A brain-machine interface for control of burst suppression in medical coma. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2013; 2013:1575-8. PMID: 24110002.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  27. Taylor NE, Chemali JJ, Brown EN, Solt K. Activation of D1 dopamine receptors induces emergence from isoflurane general anesthesia. Anesthesiology. 2013 Jan; 118(1):30-9. PMID: 23221866.
    Citations: 22     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  28. Ecker JL, Solt K, Fitzsimons MG, MacGillivray TE. Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Case 40-2012. A 43-year-old woman with cardiorespiratory arrest after a cesarean section. N Engl J Med. 2012 Dec 27; 367(26):2528-36. PMID: 23268668.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  29. Solt K, Chemali JJ, Van Dort CJ, Brown EN. In reply. Anesthesiology. 2012 Dec; 117(6):1394-5. PMID: 23168434.
  30. Solt K. General anesthesia: activating a sleep switch? Curr Biol. 2012 Nov 06; 22(21):R918-9. PMID: 23137688.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  31. Wong KF, Gong JJ, Cotten JF, Solt K, Brown EN. Assessing the effects of pharmacological agents on respiratory dynamics using time-series modeling. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2013 Apr; 60(4):1118-25. PMID: 23193230.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  32. Brown EN, Solt K. Management of opioid analgesic overdose. N Engl J Med. 2012 10 04; 367(14):1370-1; author reply 1372-3. PMID: 23034040.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  33. Chemali JJ, Van Dort CJ, Brown EN, Solt K. Active emergence from propofol general anesthesia is induced by methylphenidate. Anesthesiology. 2012 May; 116(5):998-1005. PMID: 22446983.
    Citations: 29     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  34. Solt K, Cotten JF, Cimenser A, Wong KF, Chemali JJ, Brown EN. Methylphenidate actively induces emergence from general anesthesia. Anesthesiology. 2011 Oct; 115(4):791-803. PMID: 21934407.
    Citations: 44     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  35. Gong JJ, Wong KF, Cotten JF, Solt K, Brown EN. Correcting for serial dependence in studies of respiratory dynamics. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011; 2011:1721-4. PMID: 22254658.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  36. Chemali JJ, Wong KF, Solt K, Brown EN. A state-space model of the burst suppression ratio. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011; 2011:1431-4. PMID: 22254587.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  37. Solt K, Kelly EW, Cotten JF, Raines DE. Inhibition of human alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by volatile aromatic anesthetics depends on drug hydrophobicity. Anesth Analg. 2010 Feb 01; 110(2):455-60. PMID: 19917625.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  38. Eger EI, Tang M, Liao M, Laster MJ, Solt K, Flood P, Jenkins A, Raines D, Hendrickx JF, Shafer SL, Yasumasa T, Sonner JM. Inhaled anesthetics do not combine to produce synergistic effects regarding minimum alveolar anesthetic concentration in rats. Anesth Analg. 2008 Aug; 107(2):479-85. PMID: 18633026.
    Citations: 12     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  39. Jenkins A, Lobo IA, Gong D, Trudell JR, Solt K, Harris RA, Eger EI. General anesthetics have additive actions on three ligand gated ion channels. Anesth Analg. 2008 Aug; 107(2):486-93. PMID: 18633027.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  40. Solt K, Ruesch D, Forman SA, Davies PA, Raines DE. Differential effects of serotonin and dopamine on human 5-HT3A receptor kinetics: interpretation within an allosteric kinetic model. J Neurosci. 2007 Nov 28; 27(48):13151-60. PMID: 18045909.
    Citations: 18     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
  41. Kelly EW, Solt K, Raines DE. Volatile aromatic anesthetics variably impact human gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor function. Anesth Analg. 2007 Nov; 105(5):1287-92, table of contents. PMID: 17959956.
    Citations: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  42. Solt K, Forman SA. Correlating the clinical actions and molecular mechanisms of general anesthetics. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2007 Aug; 20(4):300-6. PMID: 17620835.
    Citations: 35     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  43. Antognini JF, Raines DE, Solt K, Barter LS, Atherley RJ, Bravo E, Laster MJ, Jankowska K, Eger EI. Hexafluorobenzene acts in the spinal cord, whereas o-difluorobenzene acts in both brain and spinal cord, to produce immobility. Anesth Analg. 2007 Apr; 104(4):822-8. PMID: 17377088.
    Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  44. Husain SS, Nirthanan S, Ruesch D, Solt K, Cheng Q, Li GD, Arevalo E, Olsen RW, Raines DE, Forman SA, Cohen JB, Miller KW. Synthesis of trifluoromethylaryl diazirine and benzophenone derivatives of etomidate that are potent general anesthetics and effective photolabels for probing sites on ligand-gated ion channels. J Med Chem. 2006 Aug 10; 49(16):4818-25. PMID: 16884293.
    Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  45. Dutton RC, Laster MJ, Xing Y, Sonner JM, Raines DE, Solt K, Eger EI. Do N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors mediate the capacity of inhaled anesthetics to suppress the temporal summation that contributes to minimum alveolar concentration? Anesth Analg. 2006 May; 102(5):1412-8. PMID: 16632819.
    Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  46. Solt K, Eger EI, Raines DE. Differential modulation of human N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors by structurally diverse general anesthetics. Anesth Analg. 2006 May; 102(5):1407-11. PMID: 16632818.
    Citations: 32     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  47. Eger EI, Liao M, Laster MJ, Won A, Popovich J, Raines DE, Solt K, Dutton RC, Cobos FV, Sonner JM. Contrasting roles of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in the production of immobilization by conventional and aromatic anesthetics. Anesth Analg. 2006 May; 102(5):1397-406. PMID: 16632817.
    Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  48. Solt K, Johansson JS, Raines DE. Kinetics of anesthetic-induced conformational transitions in a four-alpha-helix bundle protein. Biochemistry. 2006 Feb 07; 45(5):1435-41. PMID: 16445285.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  49. Solt K, Stevens RJ, Davies PA, Raines DE. General anesthetic-induced channel gating enhancement of 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 receptors depends on receptor subunit composition. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Nov; 315(2):771-6. PMID: 16081679.
    Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  50. Stevens R, Rüsch D, Solt K, Raines DE, Davies PA. Modulation of human 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3AB receptors by volatile anesthetics and n-alcohols. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Jul; 314(1):338-45. PMID: 15831437.
    Citations: 17     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  51. Dougan ML, Chin JL, Solt K, Hansen DE. Rapid cleavage of cyclic tertiary amides of Kemp's triacid: effects of ring structure. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2004 Aug 16; 14(16):4153-6. PMID: 15261260.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  52. Johansson JS, Solt K, Reddy KS. Binding of the general anesthetics chloroform and 2,2,2-trichloroethanol to the hydrophobic core of a four-alpha-helix bundle proteins. Photochem Photobiol. 2003 Jan; 77(1):89-95. PMID: 12856888.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Cells
  53. Solt K, Johansson JS. Binding of the active metabolite of chloral hydrate, 2,2,2-trichloroethanol, to serum albumin demonstrated using tryptophan fluorescence quenching. Pharmacology. 2002; 64(3):152-9. PMID: 11834892.
    Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.