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Myron Yaster, MD

Myron Yaster, MD

Richard J. Traystman Distinguished Professor
Departments of Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine and Pediatrics

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Bloomberg Children's Center 6320
1800 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21287
Phone: 410-614-6223
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In an ongoing series of clinical and laboratory experiments that began in the 1980s, Dr. Myron Yaster has been at the forefront of studies that demonstrated that the newborn infant responds to pain. More important, he and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins have proven that this pain can be prevented by the appropriate use of anesthetics (general and regional) and analgesic drugs. Clearly pain, anxiety, and discomfort (both physical and psychological) are not limited to the newborn and do not begin and end with the induction and conclusion of surgery and anesthesia. Dr. Yaster is a pioneer in the development of various new methods of pain management in infants, children, and adolescents involving new drugs, novel drug delivery techniques, and system management. This research is ongoing.

Dr. Yaster started the Pediatric Pain Service at Johns Hopkins and was its director until 2005. This program treats approximately 3,000 in- and out-patients per year and is considered by many to be one of the top programs in the world. It sets the standard for practice nationally and internationally and has served as the source of extensive translational research and practice policy. He and his colleagues have published extensively in this area. His two textbooks, Pain in Infants, Children, and Adolescents and The Pediatric Pain Management and Sedation Handbook are considered the gold standards in the field. He has authored many original papers in this area as first or senior author and has mentored many individuals within and outside of the department who have gone on to become leaders in the areas of Pediatric Anesthesiology and Pediatric Pain Management. Current research projects include:

  1. Techniques to minimize or prevent opioid-induced side effects using ultra-low doses of opioid antagonists or peripheal opioid antagonists.
  2. Using proteomics and other molecular biologic techniques to study tolerance, dependence, withdrawal, and the interaction of the opioid and glutamate, both in acute and chronic pain models.
  3. Investigating the impact of pain and its management in target populations, including infants and children, patients with cystic fibrosis, patients with skeletal connective tissue diseases, and adult patients with brain cancer or who have undergone craniotomy surgery.

Professional Activities

  • Society for Pediatric Anesthesia
  • Associate Professor Promotions Committee Johns Hopkins Hospital

Selected Publications

  1. Yaster M. The dose response of fentanyl in neonatal anesthesia. Anesthesiology 1987; 66:433-435.
  2. Monitto CL, Greenberg RS, Kost-Byerly S, Wetzel RC, Yaster M. The safety and efficacy of parent-/nurse-controlled analgesia in patients less than six years of age. Anesth Analg 2000; 91(3):573-579.
  3. Gottschalk A, Berkow LC, Stevens RD, Mirski M, Thompson RE, White ED, Weingart JD, Long DM, Yaster M. Prospective evaluation of pain and analgesic use following major elective intracranial surgery. J Neurosurg 2007; 106: 210-216.
  4. Singh OV, Yaster M, Xu JT, Guan Y, Guan X, Dharmarajan AM, Raja SN, Zeitlin PL, Tao YX. Proteome of synaptosome-associated proteins in spinal cord dorsal horn after peripheral nerve injury. Proteomics. 2009; 9(5):1241-1253.
  5. Monitto CL, Kost-Byerly S, White E, Lee CK, Rudek MA, Thompson C, Yaster M. The optimal dose of prophylactic intravenous naloxone in ameliorating opioid-induced side effects in children receiving intravenous patient-controlled analgesia morphine for moderate to severe pain: A dose finding study. Anesth Analg 2011; 113(4):834-842.

Laboratory Members/Key Associates

  • Yun Guan, PhD
  • Srinivasa N. Raja, MD
  • Yuan-Xiang Tao, MD, PhD