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Michael L. Cunningham, MD, PhD

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Michael L. Cunningham, MD, PhD

Craniofacial, Pediatrics-Inpatient

On staff since October 1991

Children's Title: Division Chief, Craniofacial Medicine; Medical Director, Craniofacial Center; Jean Renny Endowed Chair in Pediatric Craniofacial Medicine

Academic Title: Professor

Research Center: Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine

"The care of a single patient during residency made me realize that I enjoyed helping families work through the difficult time after the birth of a child with complex cleft and craniofacial disorders. After residency, I was given the unique opportunity to train in the longitudinal care of these patients and their families. Encouraged by my mentors, Drs. Ron Lemire and Sterling Clarren, I returned to graduate school to obtain a PhD in Anatomy and Embryology. Now, after this 20-year journey as a physician-scientist, I recognize that it is my patients, their families and my trainees who serve as my teachers. I am dedicated to the advancement of craniofacial research and our unique model of pediatric care for children born with these conditions."

Recommendations

CindyChehalis, Wa 9853203.06.13
Dr. Cunningham has been and is one of my son's all time favorite doctors of all time. He truly is one of a kind. Brilliant with the best bedside side manners. He truly loves his kids! Parker T. Walsh son and long time patient. Thanks from most grateful mother, Cindy Walsh
AngelicaGranger Washington08.15.11
Dr. Cunningham is one of my best doctors. He has helped me alot through my appointments. And I could always count on him whenever I have a problem.
CarlaShoreline, WA05.03.11
Dr. Cunningham is very personable and relates to our child where he is in this journey. A compassionate, caring physician who treats our family with the utmost respect and allows us to make this journey at our pace and understands our hesitencies about the care and surgery of our child. My son said after one of the clinics "Mom, that was one of the very best clinics ever. Dr. Cunningham talked to me and not to you. I am in charge and I like it." From that point on, my son has taken charge in his healthcare and when providers begin to ask me questions, he jumps to answer them. Dr. Cunninhgam has helped my son realize his potential for controlling his healthcare course and making decisions, to ask more questions or to look at me and ask for help. Thank you Dr. Cunningham you are a great, caring and wonderful person!
NancySeattle, Wa12.01.10
Dr. Cunningham is the best! My daughter has been a patient at the Cranifacial center for almost 14 years. The care that we have received from Dr. Cunningham and the entire crew is outstanding.
Recommend Dr. Michael Cunningham

Overview

Board Certification(s)
Pediatrics
Medical/Professional School
University of Washington, Seattle
University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington
Residency
Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
Fellowship
Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle
Clinical Interests

Diagnosis and management of craniofacial malformation syndromes, Molecular developmental biology of craniosynostosis and other craniofacial conditions

Research Description

Craniosynostosis Research Program

Isolated craniosynostosis (premature fusion of the skull bones) occurs in approximately 1 out of 2500 births. The sutures of the skull are the areas of expansion during normal brain growth. Premature suture fusion results in abnormalities in head shape due to restriction of growth in the region of a fused suture. These changes of head shape can be associated with increased intracranial pressure (pressure within the skull) that can result in permanent brain injury.

In addition to the risks of brain injury, craniosynostosis is often associated with alteration of craniofacial growth leading to mid-facial hypoplasia, dental malocclusion, and orbital deformation. The combination of craniosynostosis and its associated facial malformations leads to significant health problems. Patients with craniosynostosis require one or more reconstructive surgeries to correct the functional deficits associated with their malformations.

Craniosynostosis remains a significant medical and dental health issue deserving of aggressive scientific investigation. The Cunningham Laboratory and members of the Children's Craniofacial Center use both basic science and clinical science to answer important questions about the etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of craniosynostosis.

Dr. Cunningham and his lab group use bone cell lines and animal models to study the molecular and developmental causes of human malformations. Their primary interest is a condition called craniosynostosis. Their research is focused on the molecular and developmental causes of several hereditary craniosynostosis syndromes including Apert, Crouzon, Saethre-Chotzen, and Muenke syndromes. These conditions are caused by mutations in members of the fibroblast growth factor receptor family (FGFRs) or TWIST.

In addition to these relatively rare forms of synostosis, the Cunningham lab investigates the molecular and developmental causes of isolated single suture craniosynostosis. Through the use of modern techniques of molecular biology, mutational analysis, expression analysis, and cell biology the Cunningham lab investigates the normal development of the human skull and pathogenesis of craniosynostosis as a mechanism to identify alternative treatment and prevention strategies.

Lab URL

http://www.seattlechildrens.org/research/developmental-biology-regenerative-medicine/cunningham-lab/

Research Focus Area

Craniofacial

Awards and Honors

Award NameAward DescriptionAwarded ByAward Date
Inaugural Holder, Jean Renny Endowed Chair for Craniofacial MedicineUniversity of Washington 2007
Parent Choice AwardChildren’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center 2005
F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator AwardThe Teratology Society 2001
Outstanding Teacher AwardUniversity of Washington Pediatric Residency Program 2001
MemberSociety for Pediatric Research 1999
Child Heath Research Center AwardUniversity of Washington, Department of Pediatrics 1993
James G. Wilson Award for Excellence in ResearchThe Teratology Society 1993
Physician Scientist Research Training AwardNational Institute of Child Health & Human Development, NIH 1993

Publications

Clinical evidence for a mandibular to maxillary transformation in Auriculocondylar syndrome.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2014 Mar 26
MAPK/ERK Signaling Pathway Analysis in Primary Osteoblasts From Patients With Nonsyndromic Sagittal Craniosynostosis.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2014 Jan: 51(1)115-9
MAPK/ERK Signaling Pathway Analysis in Primary Osteoblasts From Patients With Nonsyndromic Sagittal Craniosynostosis.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2014 Jan: 51(1)115-9
Perspectives and challenges in advancing research into craniofacial anomalies.
American journal of medical genetics. Part C, Seminars in medical genetics , 2013 Nov: 163(4)213-7
Further characterization of atypical features in auriculocondylar syndrome caused by recessive PLCB4 mutations.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2013 Sep: 161(9)2339-46
Laypersons' ratings of appearance in children with and without single-suture craniosynostosis.
The Journal of craniofacial surgery , 2013 Jul: 24(4)1331-5
Oculoauriculofrontonasal syndrome: case series revealing new bony nasal anomalies in an old syndrome.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2013 Jun: 161A(6)1345-53
Preferential associated anomalies in 818 cases of microtia in South America.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2013 May: 161A(5)1051-7
Heterogeneity of mutational mechanisms and modes of inheritance in auriculocondylar syndrome.
Journal of medical genetics , 2013 Mar: 50(3)174-86
Mandibulofacial dysostosis with microcephaly caused by EFTUD2 mutations: Expanding the phenotype.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , Jan. 2013: 161(1)108-13
Directed differentiation of human pluripotent cells to neural crest stem cells.
Nature protocols , 2013 Jan 3: 8(1)203-12
Bathrocephaly: a head shape associated with a persistent mendosal suture.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2013 Jan: 50(1)104-8
Development at age 36 months in children with deformational plagiocephaly.
Pediatrics , 2013 Jan: 131(1)e109-15
"Mandibulofacial dysostosis with microcephaly" caused by EFTUD2 mutations: expanding the phenotype.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2013 Jan: 161A(1)108-13
ALX4 gain-of-function mutations in nonsyndromic craniosynostosis.
Human mutation , 2012 Dec: 33(12)1626-9
A genome-wide association study identifies susceptibility loci for nonsyndromic sagittal craniosynostosis near BMP2 and within BBS9.
Nature genetics , 2012 Dec: 44(12)1360-4
Brain volume and shape in infants with deformational plagiocephaly.
Child's nervous system : ChNS : official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery , 2012 Jul: 28(7)1083-90
Mosaic overgrowth with fibroadipose hyperplasia is caused by somatic activating mutations in PIK3CA.
Nature genetics , 2012 Jun 24: 44(8)928-33
Multicenter study of neurodevelopment in 3-year-old children with and without single-suture craniosynostosis.
Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine , 2012 Jun 1: 166(6)536-42
Longitudinal, three-dimensional analysis of head shape in children with and without deformational plagiocephaly or brachycephaly.
The Journal of pediatrics , 2012 Apr: 160(4)673-678.e1
Parameters of care for craniosynostosis.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2012 Jan: 49 Suppl1S-24S
Unique sex-based approach identifies transcriptomic biomarkers associated with non-syndromic craniosynostosis.
Gene regulation and systems biology , 2012: 681-92
Congenital malformations among infants born to women receiving montelukast, inhaled corticosteroids, and other asthma medications.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology , 2012 Jan: 129(1)251-4.e1-6
New developments in genetic diagnosis: implications for the craniofacial surgeon.
The Journal of craniofacial surgery , 2012 Jan: 23(1)212-6
Microtia: Epidemiology and genetics.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , Nov. 2011
Mutation discovery in mice by whole exome sequencing.
Genome biology , 2011 Sep 14: R86
Heterozygous mutations of FREM1 are associated with an increased risk of isolated metopic craniosynostosis in humans and mice.
PLoS genetics , 2011 Sep: e1002278
The FaceBase Consortium: a comprehensive program to facilitate craniofacial research.
Developmental biology , 2011 Jul 15: 175-82
Development in toddlers with and without deformational plagiocephaly.
Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine , 2011 Jul: 653-8
Facial suture synostosis of newborn Fgfr1(P250R/+) and Fgfr2(S252W/+) mouse models of Pfeiffer and Apert syndromes.
Birth defects research. Part A, Clinical and molecular teratology , 2011 Jul: 603-9
Nasopharyngeal airway for management of airway obstruction in infants with micrognathia.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2011 Jul: 478-82
Robin sequence: from diagnosis to development of an effective management plan.
Pediatrics , 2011 May: 936-48
Differential expression of extracellular matrix-mediated pathways in single-suture craniosynostosis.
PloS one , 2011: e26557
IGF1R variants associated with isolated single suture craniosynostosis.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2011 Jan: 91-7
Genotype-phenotype analysis of the branchio-oculo-facial syndrome.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2011 Jan: 22-32
Disease Risk of Missense Mutations using Structural Inference from Predicted Function.
Current protein & peptide science , 2010 Nov 4
Pediatric sleep apnea and craniofacial anomalies: a population-based case-control study.
The Laryngoscope , 2010 Oct: 2098-105
Copy number variation analysis in single-suture craniosynostosis: multiple rare variants including RUNX2 duplication in two cousins with metopic craniosynostosis.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2010 Sep: 2203-10
Little evidence of association between severity of trigonocephaly and cognitive development in infants with single-suture metopic synostosis.
Neurosurgery , 2010 Aug: 408-15; discussion 415-6
Lymphatic malformations: review of current treatment.
Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery , 2010 Jun: 795-803, 803.e1
Case-control study of neurodevelopment in deformational plagiocephaly.
Pediatrics , 2010 Mar: e537-42
Reading in children with orofacial clefts versus controls.
Journal of pediatric psychology , 2010 Mar: 199-208
Single nucleotide polymorphism discovery in TBX1 in individuals with and without 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.
Birth defects research. Part A, Clinical and molecular teratology , 2010 Jan: 54-63
Pregnancy outcomes from the pregnancy registry of a human papillomavirus type 6/11/16/18 vaccine.
Obstetrics and gynecology , 2009 Dec: 1170-8
Picture perfect? Reliability of craniofacial anthropometry using three-dimensional digital stereophotogrammetry.
Plastic and reconstructive surgery , 2009 Oct: 1261-72
A case-control study of infant, maternal and perinatal characteristics associated with deformational plagiocephaly.
Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology , 2009 Jul: 332-45
Bilateral lambdoid and sagittal synostosis (BLSS): a unique craniosynostosis syndrome or predictable craniofacial phenotype?
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2009 May: 1024-32
Comparison of computed tomographic imaging measurements with clinical findings in children with unilateral lambdoid synostosis.
Plastic and reconstructive surgery , 2009 Jan: 300-9
Automatic 3D Shape Severity Quantification and Localization for Deformational Plagiocephaly.
Proceedings of SPIE , 2009 Jan 1
New severity indices for quantifying single-suture metopic craniosynostosis.
Neurosurgery , 2008 Aug: 318-24; discussion 324-5
Maternal and infant characteristics associated with prone and lateral infant sleep positioning in Washington state, 1996-2002.
The Journal of pediatrics , 2008 Aug: 194-8, 198.e1-3
New severity indices for quantifying single-suture metopic craniosynostosis.
Neurosurgery , 2008 Aug: 318-24; discussion 324-5
Characteristics of 2733 cases diagnosed with deformational plagiocephaly and changes in risk factors over time.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2008 Mar: 208-16
The morphogenesis of wormian bones: a study of craniosynostosis and purposeful cranial deformation.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2007 Dec 15: 3243-51
Evaluation of the infant with an abnormal skull shape.
Current opinion in pediatrics , 2007 Dec: 645-51
Memory and Response Inhibition in Young Children with Single-Suture Craniosynostosis.
Child neuropsychology : a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence , 2007 Sep 26: 1-14
Dental anomalies in a child with craniometaphysial dysplasia.
Pediatric dentistry , 2007 Sep-Oct: 415-9
Severity of skull malformation is unrelated to presurgery neurobehavioral status of infants with sagittal synostosis.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2007 Sep: 548-54
Dental anomalies in a child with craniometaphysial dysplasia.
Pediatric dentistry , 2007 Sep-Oct: 415-9
Presurgical and postsurgical assessment of the neurodevelopment of infants with single-suture craniosynostosis: comparison with controls.
Journal of neurosurgery , 2007 Aug: 103-10
Is cleft lip and palate ever isolated? Phenotype is in the eye of the beholder.
Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine , 2007 Aug: 811-2
Presurgical and postsurgical assessment of the neurodevelopment of infants with single-suture craniosynostosis: comparison with controls.
Journal of neurosurgery , 2007 Aug: 103-10
Neurodevelopment of infants with single-suture craniosynostosis: presurgery comparisons with case-matched controls.
Plastic and reconstructive surgery , 2007 May: 1874-81
Isolated sagittal and coronal craniosynostosis associated with TWIST box mutations.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2007 Apr 1: 678-86
Neurodevelopment of children with single suture craniosynostosis: a review.
Child's nervous system : ChNS : official journal of the International Society for Pediatric Neurosurgery , 2007 Mar: 269-81
Three-dimensional ultrasonography is superior to 2-dimensional ultrasonography in the detection of orofacial clefts during the second trimester of pregnancy.
The journal of evidence-based dental practice , 2006 Dec: 278-9
Intracellular retention, degradation, and signaling of glycosylation-deficient FGFR2 and craniosynostosis syndrome-associated FGFR2C278F.
The Journal of biological chemistry , 2006 Sep 15: 27292-305
New scaphocephaly severity indices of sagittal craniosynostosis: a comparative study with cranial index quantifications.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2006 Mar: 211-21
Cleidocranial dysplasia with severe parietal bone dysplasia: C-terminal RUNX2 mutations.
Birth defects research. Part A, Clinical and molecular teratology , 2006 Feb: 78-85
Lymphocytopenia in children with lymphatic malformation.
Archives of otolaryngology--head & neck surgery , 2006 Jan: 93-7
Symbolic signatures for deformable shapes.
IEEE transactions on pattern analysis and machine intelligence , 2006 Jan: 75-90
Skeletal changes in epidermal nevus syndrome: does focal bone disease harbor clues concerning pathogenesis?
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2005 Dec 1: 67-77
MDCT diagnosis of the child with posterior plagiocephaly.
AJR. American journal of roentgenology , 2005 Nov: 1342-6
Pregnancy outcomes after maternal exposure to simvastatin and lovastatin.
Birth defects research. Part A, Clinical and molecular teratology , 2005 Nov: 888-96
Neurodevelopmental implications of "deformational" plagiocephaly.
Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP , 2005 Oct: 379-89
Multisite study of infants with single-suture craniosynostosis: preliminary report of presurgery development.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2005 Jul: 377-84
Surgical site infections after pediatric intracranial surgery for craniofacial malformations: frequency and risk factors.
Neurosurgery , 2005 Apr: 733-9; discussion 733-9
In vitro differentiation profile of osteoblasts derived from patients with Saethre-Chotzen syndrome.
Bone , 2005 Apr: 627-34
A symbolic shaped-based retrieval of skull images.
AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium , 2005: 1030
Single-suture craniosynostosis: a review of neurobehavioral research and theory.
Journal of pediatric psychology , 2004 Dec: 651-68
Familial acromelic frontonasal dysostosis: autosomal dominant inheritance with reduced penetrance.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2004 Aug 1: 374-82
Capillary sieving electrophoresis/micellar electrokinetic capillary chromatography for two-dimensional protein fingerprinting of single mammalian cells.
Analytical chemistry , 2004 Jul 15: 4044-9
Cranial suture simulator for ultrasound diagnosis of craniosynostosis.
Pediatric radiology , 2004 Jul: 535-40
Gene expression profiling of rat livers reveals indicators of potential adverse effects.
Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology , 2004 Jul: 193-202
Cranial suture simulator for ultrasound diagnosis of craniosynostosis.
Pediatric radiology , 2004 Jul: 535-40
Human consumption of methyleugenol and its elimination from serum.
Environmental health perspectives , 2004 May: 678-80
Progressive postnatal craniosynostosis and increased intracranial pressure.
Plastic and reconstructive surgery , 2004 Apr 15: 1313-23
Differential diagnosis of the trapezoid-shaped head.
The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2004 Jan: 13-9
Increased risk for developmental delay in Saethre-Chotzen syndrome is associated with TWIST deletions: an improved strategy for TWIST mutation screening.
Human genetics , 2003 Dec: 68-76
Ultrasound screening of the lambdoid suture in the child with posterior plagiocephaly.
Pediatric radiology , 2003 Sep: 630-6
Primary pulmonary dysgenesis in velocardiofacial syndrome: a second patient.
American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2003 Aug 30: 177-9
Cleft-palate lateral synechia syndrome: insight into the phenotypic spectrum of Fryns syndrome?
Birth defects research. Part A, Clinical and molecular teratology , 2003 Jun: 460-6
Outcomes of prenatal antidepressant exposure.
The American journal of psychiatry , 2002 Dec: 2055-61
Pulmonary agenesis: expansion of the VCFS phenotype.
American journal of medical genetics , 2002 Nov 15: 89-92
Genetic approaches to craniofacial tissue repair.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences , 2002 Jun: 48-57
Hemifacial microsomia in pediatric patients: asymmetric abnormal development of the first and second branchial arches.
AJR. American journal of roentgenology , 2002 Jun: 1523-30

Research Funding

Grant TitleGrantorAmountAward Date
Single Suture Craniosynostosis Gene Expression and DiscoveryNIH NIDCR $2,173,288 2013 - 2018
Genetic and Developmental Pathways Causing Midfacial HypoplasiaNIH NIDCR $2,278,095 2012 - 2017
Shape-Based Retrieval of 3D Craniofacial Data: Competitive SupplementNIH NIDCR $191,751 2011 - 2014
3D Analysis of Normal Facial Variation: Data Repository and GeneticsNIH NIDCR $419,615 2009 - 2014
Neurobehavioral Correlates of CraniosynostosisNIH NIDCR $, $, $2,206,263 2001 - 2014

Primary Office

Seattle Children's
OB.9.520 - Craniofacial
4800 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
206-987-2208

Additional Offices

Seattle Children's Research Institute
JMB - 5 - Center for Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
1900 - 9th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
206-884-1136

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