Dr. Laura Cornelissen’s research investigates the development of sensory processing networks in children, and in neurodevelopmental outcomes following exposure to anesthesia, sedatives, and pain interventions. There are three core areas:

  1. Sensory evaluation focused on mapping associations between behavioral and clinical phenotypes in patients with acute and chronic pain, neurodegenerative disease, and in intervention clinical trials (including small molecule therapies, novel local anesthetics).

  2. Development of innovative sensory evaluation methods in patients with a range of communicative and cognitive abilities (i.e. using quantitative sensory testing), and consciousness states (including perioperative and critical care brain monitoring using EEG)

  3. Neurodevelopmental outcome assessment using multimodal measures of brain function, clinical questionnaires and surveys, and behavioral evaluation


Laura Cornelissen PhD MSci is a clinical investigator in the Division of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. Following her graduate studies in Pharmacology at the University of Bristol, and a Research & Development industry internship at GlaxoSmithKline, Philadelphia, Dr. Cornelissen obtained her PhD in Neuroscience at University College London, United Kingdom. She completed postdoctoral fellowships in the areas of perioperative brain monitoring and pediatric pain at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School.

Selected Publications

  1. Paul et al. (2019). “Competency-based Professional Advancement Model for Advanced Practice RNs” Accepted for publication by JONA, Volume 49, Issue 2.

  2. Chalphin AV, Serres SK, Micalizzi R, Dawson M, Phinney C, Hrycko A, Martin-Quashie A, Pepin M, Smithers CJ, Rangel S, Chen C (2019) “Development and implementation of a surgical quality improvement pathway for pediatric intussusception patients” Accepted for publication by Pediatr Qual Saf.


Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Long-term alterations in somatosensory functioning in survivors of childhood cancer. Pain. 2021 Sep 25. View abstract
  2. Case Studies Using the Electroencephalogram to Monitor Anesthesia-Induced Brain States in Children. Anesth Analg. 2020 10; 131(4):1043-1056. View abstract
  3. Neurophysiological Assessment of Prolonged Recovery From Neuromuscular Blockade in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Front Pediatr. 2020; 8:580. View abstract
  4. Case Studies Using the Electroencephalogram to Monitor Anesthesia-Induced Brain States in Children. Anesth Analg. 2020 Aug 17. View abstract
  5. d-Oscillation Correlates of Anesthesia-induced Unconsciousness in Large-scale Brain Networks of Human Infants. Anesthesiology. 2019 12; 131(6):1239-1253. View abstract
  6. Patient-Customized Oligonucleotide Therapy for a Rare Genetic Disease. N Engl J Med. 2019 10 24; 381(17):1644-1652. View abstract
  7. Electroencephalographic features of discontinuous activity in anesthetized infants and children. PLoS One. 2019; 14(10):e0223324. View abstract
  8. Morphine compared to placebo for procedural pain in preterm infants: safety, efficacy and equipoise. J Perinatol. 2019 10; 39(10):1428-1431. View abstract
  9. Neural Correlates of Anesthesia in Newborn Mice and Humans. Front Neural Circuits. 2019; 13:38. View abstract
  10. Up-Down Reader: An Open Source Program for Efficiently Processing 50% von Frey Thresholds. Front Pharmacol. 2018; 9:433. View abstract
  11. Electroencephalographic markers of brain development during sevoflurane anaesthesia in children up to 3 years old. Br J Anaesth. 2018 Jun; 120(6):1274-1286. View abstract
  12. Clinical signs and electroencephalographic patterns of emergence from sevoflurane anaesthesia in children: An observational study. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2018 01; 35(1):49-59. View abstract
  13. Electroencephalographic discontinuity during sevoflurane anesthesia in infants and children. Paediatr Anaesth. 2017 Mar; 27(3):251-262. View abstract
  14. Biomedical science: Protection for anaesthetized mice. Nature. 2016 08 04; 536(7614):36-7. View abstract
  15. Electroencephalography during general anaesthesia differs between term-born and premature-born children. Clin Neurophysiol. 2016 Feb; 127(2):1216-1222. View abstract
  16. A Phase 1, Dose-escalation, Double-blind, Block-randomized, Controlled Trial of Safety and Efficacy of Neosaxitoxin Alone and in Combination with 0.2% Bupivacaine, with and without Epinephrine, for Cutaneous Anesthesia. Anesthesiology. 2015 Oct; 123(4):873-85. View abstract
  17. Age-dependent electroencephalogram (EEG) patterns during sevoflurane general anesthesia in infants. Elife. 2015 Jun 23; 4:e06513. View abstract
  18. Transient Alterations of Cutaneous Sensory Nerve Function by Noninvasive Cryolipolysis. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Nov; 135(11):2623-2631. View abstract
  19. Pain hypersensitivity in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a quantitative sensory testing study. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2014; 12:39. View abstract
  20. Evaluation of nonspreading Rift Valley fever virus as a vaccine vector using influenza virus hemagglutinin as a model antigen. Vaccine. 2014 Sep 15; 32(41):5323-9. View abstract
  21. Postnatal temporal, spatial and modality tuning of nociceptive cutaneous flexion reflexes in human infants. PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e76470. View abstract
  22. Electrophysiological measurements and analysis of nociception in human infants. J Vis Exp. 2011 Dec 20; (58). View abstract
  23. Oral sucrose as an analgesic drug for procedural pain in newborn infants: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2010 Oct 09; 376(9748):1225-32. View abstract
  24. Influence of genetic background and gender on bladder function in the mouse. Auton Neurosci. 2008 Jun; 140(1-2):53-8. View abstract
  25. Female, but not male, serotonin reuptake transporter (5-HTT) knockout mice exhibit bladder instability. Auton Neurosci. 2005 Oct 30; 122(1-2):107-10. View abstract