Tippi MacKenzie is a pediatric and fetal surgeon who is focused on developing better ways to diagnose and treat genetic diseases before birth. She runs a translational research lab examining the unique biology between the mother and her fetus, with the idea that pregnancy complications such as preterm labor arise from a breakdown in maternal-fetal tolerance. She is the Principal Investigator on the world’s first Phase 1 clinical trial to perform in utero hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to treat fetuses with alpha thalassemia. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the March of Dimes, the California Institute for Regeneration Medicine, and the Burroughs-Wellcome Fund. Tippi has been awarded the Jacobson Award by the American College of Surgeons for her innovative work.
Tippi trained in classical piano at Juilliard before obtaining her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her medical degree from Stanford University. She completed her surgical residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and obtained additional fellowships in Fetal Surgery and Pediatric Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She joined the faculty at the University of California, San Francisco in 2007 and is now a Professor of Surgery. In addition to her clinical practice, she is also a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Institute for Regeneration Medicine and the Biomedical Sciences Program. She recently co-founded the Center for Maternal-Fetal Precision Medicine, with the aim of accelerating the processes that link basic research to clinical trials to improve maternal, fetal, and neonatal health. This Center is testing methods to improve prenatal diagnosis of birth defects and developing new cellular and molecular therapies for definitive fetal treatment.