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Christy McKinney, PhD

Christy McKinney, PhD

Christy McKinney, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Division of Craniofacial Medicine, Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of Washington and an Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Oral Health Sciences in the School of Dentistry at the University of Washington. She is also an investigator in Seattle Children’s Research Institutes Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, and part of the Seattle Children’s Hospital Craniofacial Center.

She received her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Washington in 2006. Her research interests are focused on craniofacial conditions including orofacial clefts, nutrition, feeding, and growth, and environmental exposures that impact oral health. Her work focuses on infants in the United States and internationally. Her global research collaborations have involved partners in Thailand, India, and Ghana.

She spearheaded the development of the NIFTY cup – an infant feeding cup for infants with breastfeeding difficulties such as infants with oral clefts and preterm infants in low resource settings – with a team of multidisciplinary experts from Seattle Children’s, PATH, the University of Washington, and Laerdal Global Health. She was named the 2017 Inventor of the Year for the University of Washington School of Medicine for this work.

Dr. McKinney’s current work focuses on early environmental exposures that affect oral and craniofacial health in children. She is studying the impact of having an orofacial cleft on feeding and growth on infants in the United States and globally. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, she is also leading the development of an international registry for craniofacial microsomia.

An active mentor of junior faculty, Dr. McKinney is the co-Director of the Institute of Translational Sciences (ITHS) KL2 Career Development program, which trains KL2 Scholars through monthly seminars and small group sessions. She is a Principal Investigator of Data Science for Child Health Now in Ghana, an NIH/Fogarty funded grant to train Ghanian scientists in biomedical data science. She is also the Director of an 8-week Craniofacial and Oral Health Online (COHO) Summer Institute in Clinical Research Methods which trains faculty from around the world in the conduct of clinical research.