Kelz Lab

  • Fluorescence image of neurons
  • Fluorescence image of neurons
  • Image of fluorescent neurons
  • Image of EEG recording from locus coeruleus
  • Image of single neuron electrophysiology recording

Welcome to the Kelz Lab

The Neurobiology of Unconsciousness.  

The advent of general anesthesia revolutionized modern medicine. Millions of individuals are exposed to general anesthetics each year, but the diverse molecular and neuronal mechanisms through which anesthetic drugs acts to produce their hypnotic effects remain incompletely understood.  We are driven to understand this fundamental question at the heart of neuroscience: how do general anesthetic drugs, which vary drastically on a molecular level, all lead to the same endpoint of unconsciousness/hypnosis.

In the process of working on neuronal mechanisms of anesthetic induced unconsciousness, we have uncovered the intriguing finding that the forward state transition into a state of general anesthesia is not a mirror image of the reverse state transition back to wakefulness.  Studies in the Kelz lab in fruit flies, mice, and humans are all designed to explore questions of how the brain undergoes state transition that lead to dramatic changes in behavioral arousal.  Another central question of the Kelz lab addresses the degree to which states of general anesthesia and endogenous sleep converge and how these states diverge.



Max B. Kelz, MD, PhD, Anesthesia Distinguished Professor


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