Dr. Adzick is the C. Everett Koop Professor of Pediatric Surgery at CHOP and the founder and director of the Hospital’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. He also serves as CHOP’s Surgeon-in-Chief, Director of the Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery, and Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
A true innovator in the field of fetal medicine since its inception, Dr. Adzick has dedicated his career to the pursuit of groundbreaking prenatal treatment for debilitating birth defects. He has made pioneering contributions to the practice of fetal surgery, and today continues to explore cutting edge surgical treatment options for life-threatening fetal anatomic malformations such as urethral obstruction, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation of the lung, and sacrococcygeal teratoma.
Dr. Adzick was the principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “Management of Myelomeningocele Study” (MOMS) at CHOP. This breakthrough study demonstrated that performing fetal surgery for spina bifida results in significantly improved outcomes versus conventional postnatal repair. The study represents the fruition of decades of research, much of it led by Dr. Adzick and his team, and is an example of how a once-radical idea can, through meticulous investigation, be transformed into a viable treatment for patients. Dr. Adzick is lead author of the study results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“For the first time in the history of mankind, we have a new way to offer hope to families who have a diagnosis of spina bifida,” says Dr. Adzick. “It’s very gratifying to take an idea we had 20 years ago, test it thoroughly, apply it cautiously in the clinical setting and, eventually, have the ability to offer a new therapy that can completely change the life of a child.”
Dr. Adzick is also an active pediatric general and thoracic surgeon, and performs more than 400 operations a year. Much of his work is devoted to surgery in newborns including repairs for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, abdominal wall defects, lung lesions and other complex conditions affecting neonates.
In addition, Dr. Adzick has a special interest and expertise in surgery for Hyperinsulinism (HI) and pediatric thyroid disorders. Working closely with CHOP’s Congenital Hyperinsulinism Center, he has been instrumental in using
18 F-DOPA PET scanning technology to identify focal HI lesions in the pancreas, offering the chance of a complete surgical cure by performing partial pancreatectomy for affected patients. Dr. Adzick is also one of the nation’s most experienced surgeons in pediatric surgery to treat thyroid cancer and Graves disease, working in collaboration with CHOP’s Pediatric Thyroid Center.
Dr. Adzick earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College, his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, completed his surgical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and his pediatric surgery fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. He holds a Masters of Medical Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Dr. Adzick was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California San Francisco, where he was an attending surgeon from 1988 until 1995, when he was recruited to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as Surgeon-in-Chief.
Dr. Adzick has had NIH grant support for more than 20 years and has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed publications. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in 1998. He is recognized worldwide for his contributions to the field of pediatric surgery, and for his creative leadership at CHOP to enhance the surgical care of children.