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Former NIH Chief Joins Children's National Medical Center

Pain expert Zena Quezado to seek solutions for measuring and ultimately eliminating pain

Washington, DC (Vocus) June 4, 2010 -- Children’s National Medical Center announced Zena Quezado, MD, as director of the Pain Neurobiology Laboratory at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. Dr. Quezado joins a team of medical visionaries who are coming together at the Institute to re-imagine the entire pediatric surgical experience and create a new standard for surgical instruction and research.

“Unanswered questions drive me,” said Dr. Quezado, a pediatric anesthesiologist. “We are research advocates for those with no voice – infants, premature infants, and developmentally disabled children.”

Kurt Newman, MD, senior vice president for the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care, said, “We are delighted to welcome Dr. Quezado to our growing team of pediatric surgery leaders and truly excited about the impact her work will have directly on the health outcomes of young patients here at Children’s National as well as the global population of patients that will benefit for her research.”

Dr. Quezado’s Institute research will focus on the mechanisms of pain response and response to novel drugs. In addition to her research duties, Dr. Quezado is also a pediatric anesthesiologist within the Center for Surgical Care. She will work closely with Julia Finkel, MD, a preeminent pain medicine physician-scientist and leader in the field of pain medicine.

Dr. Quezado comes to Children’s National Medical Center and the Sheikh Zayed Institute from the National Institutes of Health, where she served as chief of the Department of Anesthesia and Surgical Services at the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center. An active researcher, Quezado has published more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts in clinical and scientific medical journals.

Dr. Quezado was born in Patos, Brazil, and received her medical degree from the Federal University of Ceará. She moved to the United States in 1986 and completed her internship and residency at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. She was a resident and fellow in anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospital in Boston and served on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and The George Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Quezado is the recipient of multiple NIH awards for excellence in patient care; including the 2005 Director’s Award for dedication to the Magnusons Clinical Center’s mission and her leadership of anesthesia services.

Made possible by a $150 million gift from the Government of Abu Dhabi, the Institute combines unparalleled innovation and team science to revolutionize four key areas: pain medicine, immunology, bioengineering, and personalized medicine. While other institutions are actively pursuing new developments in these areas, the Institute is the first to bring these areas together in an effort to best inform research and clinical practice, with a focus on pediatric surgery.

Contact: Emily Dammeyer/Paula Darte: 202-476-4500

About Children’s National Medical Center
Children's National Medical Center, located in Washington, DC, is a proven leader in the development of innovative new treatments for childhood illness and injury. Children’s has been serving the nation's children for more than 135 years. Children’s National is proudly ranked among the best pediatric hospitals in America by US News & World Report and the Leapfrog Group. For more information, visit Children’s Research Institute, the academic arm of Children’s National Medical Center, encompasses the translational, clinical, and community research efforts of the institution. Learn more about our research programs at


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