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zuppa [at]
Location - People View
Room 4008

3501 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Athena F. Zuppa, MD, MSCE
Athena F. Zuppa
Director, Center for Clinical Pharmacology

As director of the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, Dr. Zuppa has a dynamic research program that focuses on using clinical pharmacological modeling and simulation strategies to study the impact of critical illness on drug disposition in children.



Dr. Zuppa leads the Center for Clinical Pharmacology, which was established in 2014 to speed research from the bench to the bedside and emphasizes a single, consolidated resource for Children's Hospital of Philadelphia investigators interested in pharmacologic endeavors.

Her personal research efforts involve investigating the impact of critical illness on drug disposition in critically ill children.

The early stages of Dr. Zuppa's career in clinical pharmacology focused on drug utilization in the care of critically ill children. The purpose of this research was to identify the medications that were used in the care of critically ill children, yet lacked pediatric dosing guidance and/or dosing guidance in the setting of critical illness. Much of this work outlined the landscape of drug utilization in pediatric critical illness and identified candidate medications for clinical pharmacologic inquiry for her future studies.

She next focused her research efforts on further understanding drug disposition of drugs frequently used in this vulnerable population. Much of this work positively impacted clinical practice, and improved prescribing practices to make drug delivery safer and more effective.

In addition, Dr. Zuppa's research efforts have included improving drug delivery to children with congenital heart disease; working closely with the Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network on the pharmacoepidemiology of critical asthma; and improving drug prescribing practices for children undergoing surgery, specifically reducing the incidence of surgical site infections (SSIs) and reducing perioperative bleeding.

Education and Training

BS, Colgate University (Chemistry), 1992

MD, SUNY at Stony Brook, 1996

Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Critical Care), 1999

MSCE, University of Pennsylvania (Epidemiology), 2004

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Center for Clinical Pharmacology

Associate Director of PICU Fellowship Program

Attending Physician

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Professional Memberships

Society of Critical Care Medicine, 1998-

American Academy of Pediatrics, 1998-

American College Of Clinical Pharmacology, 2004-

American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 2006-

Professional Awards

Fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2003

Junior Clinical Investigator Award — CHOP General Clinical Research Center, 2003

Residency Teaching Award from CHOP, 2004

Fellow, American College of Clinical Pharmacology, 2006

Publication Highlights

Zuppa AF, Conrado DJ, Zane NR, Curley MA, Huang H, Bradfield J, Hakonarson H, Gastonguay MS, Moorthy G, Prodell J, Gastonguay MR. Midazolam dose optimization in critically ill pediatric patients with acute respiratory failure: A population pharmacokinetic pharmacogenomics study. Crit Care Med. 2019 Feb; PMID: 30672747
Zuppa A, Zane N, Moorthy G, Dalton HJ, Abraham A, Reeder RW, Carcillo JA, Yates AR, Meert KL, Berg RA, Sapru A, Mourani P, Notterman DA, Dean JM, Gastonguay MR, for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network (CPCCRN). A population pharmacokinetic analysis to study the effect of extracorporeal membrane Oxygenation on cefepime disposition in children. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2019 Jan; 20(1):62-70. PMID: 30431557
Elia J, Unsal G, Kao C, Ambrosini A, De Jesus-Rosario N, Larson L, Chiavacci R, Wang T, Kurian C, Titchen K, Sykes B, Hwang S, Kumar B, Potts J, Davis J, Malatack J, Slattery E, Moorthy G, Zuppa AF, Weller A, Byrne E, Li Y, Kraft W, Hakonarson H. Fasoracetam in adolescents with ADHD and glutamatergic gene network variants disrupting mGluR neurotransmitter signaling. Nat Commun. 2018 Jan; 9(1):4. PMID: 29339723
Su F, Gastonguay MR, Nicolson SC, DiLiberto M, Ocampt-Pelland, Zuppa AF. Dexmedetomidine pharmacology in neonates and infants after open heart surgery. Anesth Analg. 2016 May; 122(5):1556-66. PMID: 26218862
Su F, Nicolson SC, Gastonguay MR, Barrett JS, Adamson PC, Kang DS, Godinez, RI, Zuppa AF. Population pharmacokinetics of dexmedetomidine in infants following open heart surgery. Anesth Analg. 2010 May; 110(5):1383-92. PMID: 20418300