Newswise — ORLANDO, Fla. – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today presented Seun Johnson-Akeju, M.D., M.M.Sc., with its 2019 James E. Cottrell Presidential Scholar Award in recognition of his outstanding dedication to the study of neuroscience and anesthesia. Dr. Johnson-Akeju’s research is leading to the development of innovative approaches to identify patients at-risk for postoperative neurocognitive dysfunction, and the creation of treatments for the condition. The award is presented annually to an ASA member who has dedicated their formative career to research.  

Dr. Johnson-Akeju is director of Neurosurgical Anesthesia in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine (DACCPM) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, and associate professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston. 

In his neuroscience research program at MGH, Dr. Johnson-Akeju studies brain activity patterns during anesthesia, and how these activity patterns change with critical illness, frailty, and neurocognitive dysfunction. His research efforts are informing brain state monitoring paradigms to help limit drug overdosing and underdosing in patients. These research efforts are also informing principled approaches to preemptively identify patients at risk for perioperative neurocognitive dysfunction. Dr. Johnson-Akeju has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research, MGH Research Institute, and MGH Executive Committee on Research.

“ASA congratulates Dr. Johnson-Akeju,” said ASA President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA. “His aptitude for neuroscience and clinical research and his creative approach to translational discoveries directly impact patient care and promote perioperative brain health.”  

Dr. Johnson-Akeju received his medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey, and completed his residency in anesthesiology at MGH. Following his residency, he completed the Program in Clinical Effectiveness for clinical researchers at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and a post-doctoral fellowship in regenerative biology at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Johnson-Akeju also earned a Master of Medical Science in clinical investigation from Harvard Medical School and a certificate in applied biostatistics from Harvard Catalyst at the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center in Boston.

An outstanding teacher of students, residents and fellows, Dr. Johnson-Akeju received the 2018 MGH DACCPM Mentorship Award for Academic Excellence in recognition of his dedication to fostering the success of faculty colleagues. He has served as an ad hoc reviewer for several specialty and non-specialty journals including the British Journal of Anaesthesiology, Anesthesiology, Anesthesia & Analgesia, eLife, PNAS, Human Brain Mapping, Cerebral Cortex, and Neuroimage.


Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 53,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves. 

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Join the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 social conversation today. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter and use the hashtag #ANES19.

# # #

Register for reporter access to contact details

ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting