Christy McKinney, PhD, MPH

Christy McKinney, PhD, MPH

Craniofacial Center

Academic Title: Associate Professor, Craniofacial Medicine, Pediatrics

"As an investigator, Seattle Children's is a great place to be! I am able to use my expertise as a dental and craniofacial epidemiologist to contribute to dynamic, engaged multidisciplinary research teams that focus on improving the oral and craniofacial health of children. I am fortunate to be in a position where I get to work with fabulous people on research questions that have direct and immediate positive impact on the lives of newborns and children locally and globally."

  • 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 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 conditions including orofacial clefts, nutrition and growth and devices that impact early growth, and environmental exposures in oral health. 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 Childrens, PATH, the University of Washington and Laerdal Global Health. She was name the 2017 Inventor of the Year for the University of Washington School of Medicine for this work.

    Dr. McKinney's current work also includes focuses on environmental exposure that affect oral health in children. Her work includes a prospective cohort study investigating the extent to which children are exposed to the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) during dental treatment, a study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. 

    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 also the Director of the eight-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.