Christy McKinney, PhD, MPH

Christy McKinney, PhD, MPH


Academic Title: Associate Professor, Craniofacial Medicine, Pediatrics

Research Center: Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development

"Im excited to be at Seattle Childrens where I can fulfill my long-term dream to leverage my expertise as an oral and craniofacial epidemiologist and have a direct impact on the lives of newborns in our local communities and throughout the world who are nutritionally at-risk. I am also passionate about working on team projects that can immediately impact clinical practice and improve the health and well-being of patients."

  • 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. She is also an investigator in Seattle Childrens Research Institutes Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, and part of the Seattle Childrens Hospital Craniofacial Center.

    She received her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Washington in 2006. Her research interests are focused on craniofacial, oral, and nutritional health in young children. Dr. McKinney currently studies the unique intersection of oral clefts, maternal nutrition, infant feeding and global health. 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 Childrens, PATH, the University of Washington and Laerdal Global Health. Her global research collaborations involve partners in Thailand, India and Ghana.

    Dr. McKinneys current work also includes pediatric dental research. She is the primary investigator of a grant from the National Institutes of Health investigating the extent to which children are exposed to the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) during dental treatment. She is also involved in studies that employ innovative dentist-based approaches to establishing lifelong dental care practices in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

    An active mentor for junior faculty, Dr. McKinney is the Associate Director of the Institute of Translational Sciences (ITHS) KL2 Career Development program, which trains KL2 Scholars through weekly seminars and small group sessions. She is also the Director of the six-week Summer Institute in Clinical Dental Research Methods in the University of Washington, School of Dentistry, which trains junior faculty from around the world.


Medical/Professional School

University of Washington, Seattle, Epidemiology
Tulane Univ.School of Public Health , New Orleans, Epidemiology
University of Washington, Seattle

Research Description

Currently, my team is conducting a prospective cohort study examining the extent to which children receiving resin-based dental restorations and dental sealants are exposed to the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA). We are measuring BPA exposure before and after dental treatment. This is being conducted at the Center for Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Washington and is an R01 grant funded by NIH. We are also conducting a randomized clinical crossover study in Ghana comparing the effectiveness of Nifty Feeding Cup compared to a standard medicine cup to feed preterm infants with breastfeeding difficulties. This is conducted in partnership with investigators at PATH and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Ghana and is funded through a Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge Validation Award.