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profileKen Solt, M.D.

TitleAssociate Professor of Anaesthesia
InstitutionMassachusetts General Hospital
DepartmentAnaesthesia
AddressMassachusetts General Hospital
Anesthesia & Critical Care, GRB 444
55 Fruit St
Boston MA 02114
Phone617/726-4359
Fax617/724-5541
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Collapse Biography 
Collapse education and training
Amherst College, Amherst, MAB.A.05/1996Chemistry
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PAM.D.05/2000Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA09/2004Anesthesiology
Collapse awards and honors
2010 - 2014NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award
2012 - 2017NIH Director's Transformative Research Award
2014 - 2020James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award

Collapse Overview 
Collapse overview
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.


Collapse Research 
Collapse research activities and funding
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.
P01GM118269     (BROWN, EMERY N.)Feb 10, 2017 - Jan 31, 2022
NIH/NIGMS
Integrated Systems Neuroscience Studies of Anaesthesia
Role: Principal Investigator

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

R01GM104948     (BROWN, EMERY N.)Sep 25, 2012 - Aug 31, 2017
NIH/NIGMS
Redesigning General Anesthesia
Role: Co-Principal Investigator

K08GM094394     (SOLT, KEN)Sep 1, 2010 - Aug 31, 2014
NIH/NIGMS
Active Induction of Emergence from General Anesthesia
Role: Principal Investigator

Collapse Featured Content 
Collapse Media Links

Collapse Bibliographic 
Collapse selected publications
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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  1. 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 Jun 14; 17(1):76. PMID: 28615047.
    View in: PubMed
  2. 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 Nov; 123(5):1210-1219. PMID: 26991753.
    View in: PubMed
  3. 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 Oct 24. PMID: 27791160.
    View in: PubMed
  4. 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 Jun 01; 306:20-5. PMID: 26971629.
    View in: PubMed
  5. 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; PMCID: PMC4492624.
  6. 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; PMCID: PMC4501918.
  7. 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; PMCID: PMC4501916.
  8. 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; PMCID: PMC4424071.
  9. 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; PMCID: PMC4270179.
  10. 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; PMCID: PMC4112744.
  11. 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; PMCID: PMC3814408.
  12. 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; PMCID: PMC3857134.
  13. 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; PMCID: PMC3793904.
  14. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  15. 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; PMCID: PMC3527840.
  16. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  17. Solt K, Chemali JJ, Van Dort CJ, Brown EN. In reply. Anesthesiology. 2012 Dec; 117(6):1394-5. PMID: 23168434.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Solt K. General anesthesia: activating a sleep switch? Curr Biol. 2012 Nov 06; 22(21):R918-9. PMID: 23137688.
    View in: PubMed
  19. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  20. Brown EN, Solt K. Management of opioid analgesic overdose. N Engl J Med. 2012 Oct 04; 367(14):1370-1; author reply 1372-3. PMID: 23034040.
    View in: PubMed
  21. 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; PMCID: PMC3339625.
  22. 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; PMCID: PMC3178041.
  23. 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; PMCID: PMC3767304.
  24. 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; PMCID: PMC3770149.
  25. 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; PMCID: PMC3534757.
  26. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  27. 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; PMCID: PMC2493416.
  28. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  29. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  30. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  31. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  32. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  33. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  34. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  35. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  36. 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; PMCID: PMC2581500.
  37. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  38. 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; PMCID: PMC4548296.
  39. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  40. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  41. 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.
    View in: PubMed
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