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Zena Quezado

Zena Quezado, MD
Pediatric Anesthesia and Critical Care
Department of Perioperative Medicine

Academic Degrees
Universidade Federal do Ceara, Brazil


Phone: 301-827-1271

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NIH Clinical Center Senior Staff

Zena Quezado, MD


Dr. Zena Quezado is a pediatric anesthesiologist with an interest on the treatment of pain during the perioperative period and on the neurobiology of pain in children with developmental disabilities.

Her work involves the conduct of preclinical and clinical studies aimed at both understanding mechanisms of pain and developing and screening novel therapies for the treatment of acute and chronic pain in children. In the clinic, she has conducted clinical trials that have changed the way we treat perioperative pain using non-opioid drugs and thus diminishing the use of opioids during and after surgery. In the laboratory, she studies the neurobiology of pain and nociception using models of sickle cell disease (SCD) and models that display abnormal social behavior and conducts basic and translational research on the alterations in nociception and behavior associated with those conditions.

She also conducts studies in animal models of human diseases focusing on understanding the mechanisms of altered nociception and associated behavioral changes as well as preclinical testing of novel therapies to treat those alterations in nociception associated with inherited conditions. Dr. Quezado seeks to identify and validate pathway targets for the development of novel analgesics.

Dr. Quezado joined the Clinical Center pediatrics team in 2017 as the first chief of Pediatric Anesthesia and Critical Care. She heads up a new special pediatric observation unit which will provide additional support for patient safety in pediatric research.

Dr. Quezado, previously a fellow in the Critical Care Medicine Department and later chief of Anesthesiology at the Clinical Center, spent the past seven years at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She is a seasoned professional in pediatric anesthesia with close to 20 years of experience.

Selected Honors and Awards

Dr. Quezado is an associate senior examiner with the American Board of Anesthesiology and a member of the Society for Pediatric Research and Association of University Anesthesiologists.

Selected Publications

Sheehy KA, Lippold C, Rice AL, Nobrega R, Finkel JC, and Quezado ZMN. Subanesthetic ketamine for pain management in hospitalized children and adolescents: a single center cohort study. J Pain Res, 2017

Wang L, Almeida LEF, Nettleton M, Khaibullina A, Albani S, Kamimura S, Nouraie M, Quezado ZMN. Altered nocifensive behavior in animal models of autism spectrum disorder: the role of the nicotinic cholinergic system. Neuropharmacology. 111:323-334, 2016. PMID: 27638450

Sheehy KA, Muller EA, Lippold C, Nouraie M, Finkel JC, Quezado ZM. Subanesthetic ketamine infusions for the treatment of children and adolescents with chronic pain: a longitudinal study. BMC Pediatr. 15:198, 2015. PMID: 26620833

Wang L, Almeida LEF, Batista CDS, Khaibullina A, Xu N, Albani S, Guth KA, Seo JS, Quezado M, and Quezado ZMN. Cognitive and behavior deficits in sickle cell mice are associated with profound neuropathologic changes in hippocampus and cerebellum. Neurobiol Dis. 85:60-72, 2016. PMID:26462816

Calhoun G, Wang L, Almeida LEF, Kenyon N, Khaibullina A, Nouraie M, and Quezado ZMN. Dexmedetomidine ameliorates nocifensive behavior in humanized sickle cell mice. Eur J Pharmacol, 754:125-33, 2015 PMID:25724786

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This page last updated on 02/23/2018

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