Disorders affecting the brain and spine are often life-altering for patients and their families. When faced with disease affecting the central nervous system, selecting the optimal treatment strategy for a child can be difficult and complex. As a neurosurgeon I strive to educate and empower parents to make these challenging healthcare decisions so that they can best fulfill the needs of their child and family.
Dr. Zwienenberg is fellowship trained and board certified in general Neurological Surgery and Pediatric Neurological Surgery. She provides medical and surgical care to patients with brain and spinal cord tumors, hydrocephalus, craniofacial disorders, epilepsy, spinal dysraphism (including fetal surgery), vascular anomalies and traumatic brain injury. She has expertise in minimally invasive endoscopic surgery for hydrocephalus and craniosynostosis.
Dr. Zwienenberg's research interests include studying the effects of injury to the developing brain and the long-term impact on neurological functioning and developmental outcome. Her clinical research interests include the development of clinical guidelines and decision instruments to optimize the care of children with traumatic brain injury.
Fetal Care and Treatment Center
UC Davis Children's Hospital
M.D., Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 1997
General Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 2000-2001
Neurological Surgery, UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento CA 2001-2006
Pediatric Neurological Surgery, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center, Memphis TN 2006-2007
UC Davis Dean’s Team Award for Clinical Excellence: Craniopagus separation surgery, 2021
Sacramento Magazine Top Doctor Neurological Surgery: 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Sacramento Magazine Top Doctor Pediatric Neurological Surgery: 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
UC Davis Dean’s Team Award for Clinical Excellence: Fetal Surgery team, 2017
Outstanding leadership award, UC Davis Department of Neurological Surgery, 2016
America’s Best Doctors, 2016
Dean’s Team Award for Excellence in Clinical Care, UC Davis School of Medicine, 2014
Ondek K, Brevnova O, Jimenez-Ornelas C, Vergara A, Zwienenberg M, Gurkoff G. A new model of repeat mTBI in adolescent rats. Exp Neurol. 2020 Sep;331:113360. doi:10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113360. Epub 2020 May 20. PMID:32442552.
Goodarzi A, Garza N, Lechpammer M, Anthony R, Zwienenberg M. The molecular oncology of bilateral high-grade thalamic astrocytomas in children. Childs Nerv Syst. 2019 Sep 14. doi: 10.1007/s00381-019-04372-0. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:31522255
Greenan K, Taylor SL, Fulkerson D, Shahlaie K, Gerndt C, Krueger EM, Zwienenberg M. Selection of children with ultra-severe traumatic brain injury for neurosurgical intervention. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2019 Apr 5:1-10. doi: 10.3171/2019.1.PEDS18293. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:30952132
Zwienenberg M, Marcin JP. Getting a Head Start: Expediting Neurosurgical Intervention in Children Transported With Intracranial Hemorrhage With Telemedicine. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2018 Nov;19(11):1084-1086. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000001726. No abstract available. PMID:30395110
Nishijima DK, VanBuren J, Hewes HA, Myers SR, Stanley RM, Adelson PD, Barnhard SE, Bobinski M, Ghetti S, Holmes JF, Roberts I, Schalick WO 3rd, Tran NK, Tzimenatos LS, Michael Dean J, Kuppermann N; TIC-TOC Collaborators of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network. Traumatic injury clinical trial evaluating tranexamic acid in children (TIC-TOC): study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2018 Oct 30;19(1):593. doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-2974-z. PMID:30376893
Ament JD, Greenan KN, Tertulien P, Galante JM, Nishijima DK, Zwienenberg M. Medical necessity of routine admission of children with mild traumatic brain injury to the intensive care unit. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2017 Jun;19(6):668-674. doi:10.3171/2017.2.PEDS16419. Epub 2017 Apr 7. PMID:28387644.
Nishijima DK, Yang Z, Urbich M, Holmes JF, Zwienenberg-Lee M, Melnikow J, Kuppermann N. Cost-effectiveness of the PECARN rules in children with minor head trauma. Ann Emerg Med. 2015 Jan;65(1):72-80.e6. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2014.08.019. Epub 2014 Nov 12. PMID:25443992.
Sarkar K, Keachie K, Nguyen U, Muizelaar JP, Zwienenberg-Lee M, Shahlaie K. Computed tomography characteristics in pediatric versus adult traumatic brain injury. J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014 Mar;13(3):307-14. doi:10.3171/2013.12.PEDS13223. Epub 2014 Jan 10. PMID:24410128
mpey PE, Velez de Mendizabal N, Bell MJ, Bies RR, Anderson KB, Kochanek PM, Adelson PD, Poloyac SM; Pediatric TBI Consortium: Therapeutic hypothermia decreases phenytoin elimination in children with traumatic brain injury. Hypothermia Investigators. Crit Care Med. 2013 Oct; 41(10):2379-87.
Justice CM, Yagnik G, Kim Y, Peter I, Jabs EW, Erazo M, Ye X, Ainehsazan E, Shi L, Cunningham ML, Kimonis V, Roscioli T, Wall SA, Wilkie AO, Stoler J, Richtsmeier JT, Heuzé Y, Sanchez-Lara PA, Buckley MF, Druschel CM, Mills JL, Caggana M, Romitti PA, Kay DM, Senders C, Taub PJ, Klein OD, Boggan J, Zwienenberg-Lee M, Naydenov C, Kim J, Wilson AF, Boyadjiev SA. A genome-wide association study identifies susceptibility loci for nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis near BMP2 and within BBS9. Nat Genet. 2012 Dec;44(12):1360-4. doi:10.1038/ng.2463. Epub 2012 Nov 18. PMID:23160099.