Leadership Team

Anthony Sandler

Anthony Sandler, MD, is the senior vice president and surgeon-in-chief of the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care, Children’s National Health System and the Diane and Norman Bernstein Professor of Pediatric Surgery, as well as a principal investigator of the Care Accelerators Initiative in the Sheikh Zayed Institute. Dr. Sandler is internationally known for his research and clinical work on childhood solid tumors and operative repair of congenital anomalies of the gastro-intestinal tract. Dr. Sandler has received several awards for outstanding teaching as well as the Joel Rosyln Young Investigator Award from the Association for Academic Surgeons. He currently serves on several committees of the American Pediatric Surgical Association and has published more than 70 peer- reviewed manuscripts in clinical and scientific medical journals. Dr. Sandler was educated at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, the University of Iowa, and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada.

Peter Kim

Peter C. W. Kim, MD, CM, PhD, a pediatric surgeon and scientist, is vice president of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System. As vice president, he implements the Institute’s vision of innovative, multidisciplinary research and development in pediatric surgery. Dr. Kim’s research focuses on the development of smarter surgical tools, including image guidance and robotics; smarter simulation technologies that prepare tomorrow’s pediatric surgeons through a hands-on approach rather than the traditional lecture-based medical training model; and the potential of technologies such as high-intensity focused ultrasound (HiFU) as non-invasive alternatives to conventional surgery. He has authored more than 100 papers and 50 abstracts on a range of topics, with special emphasis on developmental molecular biology as well as innovation and technology, including minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Previously, Dr. Kim served as a general neonatal and thoracic surgeon at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto where he was also founding lead for the Centre for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI), and a senior associate scientist in the hospital’s research institute. Dr. Kim also served as professor of surgery at the University of Toronto. In Toronto, Dr. Kim co-led the clinical Airway Reconstruction Team, which provided international expertise in the management of complex airway diseases. He also investigated application-specific surgical robotic systems for pediatric surgery, including an image-guided minimally invasive capable robotic arm called KidsArm. Dr. Kim also led the creation of the Fetal Alert Network (FAN), a provincial network to monitor and provide care for mothers with high-risk pregnancies and babies with anomalies.

Dr. Kim received his medical training, including the distinction of Master of Surgery, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He completed his surgical residency training at the University of Toronto as well as his fellowship in pediatric surgery at the University’s Hospital for Sick Children.

Kolaleh Eskandanian

Kolaleh Eskandanian, PhD, MBA, PMP is executive director of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. She joined the Institute in May 2012 to assist Dr. Peter Kim in creating, implementing, and sustaining strategic initiatives for the Institute. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Eskandanian held a variety of management positions at Accenture, a $28 billion multinational management consulting company, where she was retained by top Fortune 500 companies to direct major product launches, strategy development, and management consulting. In that capacity, she assumed profit/loss responsibility for multi-million-dollar projects. Her work with global organizations built strong problem-solving skills and the ability to successfully implement strategy. It also challenged her to consider new, innovative ideas and to change the status quo.

At Georgetown University, she was the lead inventor of the first-ever web-based adverse event reporting system that was successfully commercialized. In 2008, Dr. Eskandanian joined Children’s National to work with Dr. Jill Joseph to develop strategy and apply for the $20 million Clinical and Translational Science Award. She was an instrumental force in attaining the prestigious grant, which funds ground-breaking research across disciplines at Children’s National. Dr. Eskandanian has applied her extensive experience in industry and academia in the Institute’s unique environment, playing a critical role in mapping the strategy for sustainable growth and transforming innovative ideas into transformational solutions for children.

Dr. Eskandanian holds BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering, PhD in Operations Management and an MBA. She is fluent in four languages.

Julia Finkel

Julia Finkel, MD, leads the Pain Medicine Initiative in the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation and is vice chief of the Division of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Children’s National. The ultimate goal of the Pain Medicine Initiative is to eliminate pain in children’s medicine. As one of the nation’s preeminent pain medicine physician-scientists, Dr. Finkel is a fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologist in the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care at Children’s National. Under her leadership, the pediatric pain medicine program at Children’s National has grown to more than 2,500 clinical patient encounters a year. Dr. Finkel has extensive experience designing and conducting clinical trials relating to analgesics in children and receives substantial support from industry. Her areas of research interest include the modulation of opioid analgesia, tolerance, and hyperalgesia; the development of methodologies to objectively measure pain, and analgesia and developmental pharmacology of analgesics. Dr. Finkel completed her medical training at the State University of New York at Syracuse and her pediatric anesthesiology training at Children’s National.

Zenaide Quezado

Zenaide Quezado, MD, is director of the Pain Neurobiology Lab for the Pain Medicine Initiative at the Sheikh Zayed Institute. Additionally, she is a fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologist in the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care at Children's National Health System. An internationally renowned pediatric anesthesiologist, Dr. Quezado is the recipient of multiple NIH awards for excellence in patient care, including the 2005 Director's Award for dedication to the Magnuson Clinical Center's mission and her leadership of anesthesia services. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts in clinical and scientific medical journals. Prior to joining Children's National, Dr. Quezado was chief of the Department of Anesthesia and Surgical Services at the Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center at the NIH. Dr. Quezado completed her medical education at the Universidade Federal do Ceara in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. She completed several anesthesiology fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children, both in Boston.

Craig Peters

Craig Peters, MD, is the chief of the Division of Surgical Innovation, Technology, and Translation in the Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Center for Surgical Care and a principal investigator at the Sheikh Zayed Institute. As part of the Translational Biodesign Initiative at the Institute, he focuses on using robotics in surgery for children. He is collaborating with colleagues to advance customized surgical planning and evaluation, enhanced tissue/cell visualization during surgery, and minimal and noninvasive surgical methods. Dr. Peters has extensive experience with treatment of pediatric urologic problems and developing minimally invasive surgical techniques, including robot-assisted procedures. He also has conducted NIH-funded research in urinary obstruction, vesicoureteral reflux, and bladder dysfunction. As part of Children's National’s Surgical Innovation, Technology, and Translation team, he is continuing his specialization in infants, children, and adolescents needing surgery from illnesses of the genitourinary tract, encompassing all of the congenital and acquired urinary tract abnormalities of infancy and childhood of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and genitalia. Prior to joining Children's National, Dr. Peters was chief of the Division of Pediatric Urology at the University of Virginia. Dr. Peters completed his medical education at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., and completed pediatric urology/surgical fellowships at Children's Hospital Boston through Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.

Raymond Sze

Raymond Sze, MD, is the chief of the Division of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiology at Children’s National Health System, the largest of its kind in the Washington-Baltimore region. He is also a principal investigator in the Translational Biodesign Initiative at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. His expertise is in molecular translational imaging, imaging informatics and image-guided therapy. Dr. Sze’s expansive understanding of computer technology, physics, chemistry, and bioengineering research guiding the Translational Biodesign Initiative in the Sheikh Zayed Institute into a world-class imaging and therapeutic resource that provides previously unseen levels of precision, detail, and surgical success. Dr. Sze has received numerous awards for his excellence in medical education and research, including the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award from the University of Washington, the American Roentgen Ray Society Scholarship, and the John A. Kirkpatrick Young Investigators Award from the Society of Pediatric Radiology. Dr. Sze has four medical imaging patents granted or pending . Dr. Sze completed his medical education at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J., and his fellowship training at Children's Hospital Health System in Cincinnati.

Kevin Cleary

A research professor and engineer, Kevin Cleary, PhD, leads the Institute's interdisciplinary bioengineering team with a focus on improving visualization in pediatric surgery through medical devices and robotics. As part of that work, he is modifying devices designed for adult surgery to work better in the smaller bodies of children. Embracing the unprecedented opportunity to work side-by-side with physician researchers and other engineers, Dr. Cleary seeks to expand and improve the application of robotics and other devices in pediatric surgery. Dr. Cleary believes the fledgling field of pediatric robotics can advance faster thanks to the unique multidisciplinary set-up of the Institute. Dr. Cleary comes to Children's National from Georgetown University Medical Center's Department of Radiology where he was director and professor at the Imaging Science and Information Systems Center. He is the co-editor of the book Image-Guided Interventions: Technology and Applications. Dr. Cleary received his doctorate from the University of Texas in Austin and was an NSF-sponsored post-doctoral fellow in robotics in Japan.

Diego Preciado

Diego Preciado, MD, PhD, specializes in pediatric airway disorders, congenital sensorineural hearing loss, chronic middle ear disease, chronic sinusitis, and velopharyngeal insufficiency. Dr. Preciado is an active basic science researcher investigating mechanisms of mucin gene regulation in middle-ear cells. He has been awarded several clinical- and basic-science research awards from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology.

Catherine Bollard

Catherine M. Bollard, MBChB, MD, FRACP, FRCPA, is a senior scientist in the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at the Children’s Research Institute, a member of the Division of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and the Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the Care Accelerators Initiative of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. In this role, she leads clinical and research efforts to fight cancer and other inflammatory diseases by strengthening a child’s immune system. A distinguished hematologist and immunotherapist, Dr. Bollard’s research focuses on three different areas including developing cell and gene therapies for patients with cancer and underlying immune deficiencies. She is also interested in stem cell and cord blood transplantation, and improving outcomes by decreasing infectious complications and preventing relapse. She also has a specific interest in cell therapies for EBV-associated lymphomas and, as head of the NHL committee of the Children’s Oncology Group, is moving cell therapies to the cooperative group setting.