Zarina S. Ali, MD is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is co-Director of the Penn Nerve Center and focuses her clinical practice in spine and peripheral nerve surgery, including the treatment of nerve entrapment syndromes, peripheral nerve tumors, and complex reconstructive procedures of the peripheral nerves. She also developed and leads a value-based care program, the Neurosurgery Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program at Penn, which aims to optimize patients prior to, during, and after spinal and peripheral nerve surgery in order to reduce the surgical stress response and promote expeditious surgical recovery. Her clinical research focuses on development and testing of health system interventions for promoting opioid stewardship following surgery. Dr. Ali’s work is funded by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Ali also collaborates on basic science research focused on the development of tissue-engineering strategies to promote peripheral nerve regeneration. Dr. Ali is Vice-Chair of Diversity and Inclusion of the Department of Neurosurgery and is also the first female neurosurgeon at Pennsylvania Hospital.
Dr. Ali received her MD from the University of Rochester, where she completed the combined BS-MD Rochester Early Medical Scholars Program in 2009. She also received an MS degree in Neurobiology and Anatomy from the University of Rochester in 2007. She then went on to complete her neurological surgery residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 2016, including a fellowship in peripheral nerve surgery at Penn with Dr. Eric Zager. She joined the Penn faculty in her current position in 2016.