Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Establishes Adzick-McCausland Distinguished Chair in Fetal and Pediatric Surgery

Published on in CHOP News

Drs. Adzick and Peranteau Drs. Adzick (L) and Peranteau (R) Supported by a transformational gift from Bonnie and Peter McCausland and the McCausland Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has established the Adzick-McCausland Distinguished Chair in Fetal and Pediatric Surgery, the first distinguished chair funded by private philanthropy in the hospital's history. William H. Peranteau, MD, an attending surgeon in the Division of General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery and the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, will be the inaugural chair holder.

The McCausland family’s gift, which totals $5 million, honors the 25th anniversary of N. Scott Adzick, MD, CHOP’s Surgeon-in-Chief and Founder and Director of the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. As an internationally renowned pioneer in fetal surgery and one of the leading pediatric surgeons in the world, Dr. Adzick has developed innovative fetal treatments for debilitating birth defects, including spina bifida and congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

“We are deeply grateful to Bonnie and Peter and the McCausland Foundation for this very generous gift,” said Madeline Bell, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “The McCausland family’s longstanding commitment to the Philadelphia community, as well as the health and wellbeing of children, make them a perfect partner to help us further CHOP’s mission.”

As the inaugural Adzick-McCausland Distinguished Chair holder, Dr. Peranteau will continue this legacy of breakthrough fetal treatment. Since joining the CHOP in 2012, he has led groundbreaking basic research in the field of prenatal gene editing, the technique of using CRISPR to perform gene editing in fetuses with known congenital anomalies. He has published on the innovative practice in prestigious, high-impact journals, including a proof-of-concept paper in Nature Medicine and a subsequent paper in Science Translational Medicine that used gene editing with CRISPR to treat fatal metabolic liver and lung diseases in animal models. He is also the recipient of three recent grants from the National Institutes of Health, including a $1.5 million New Innovators Award that will support his fetal gene editing research.

“I often refer to Bill as a rare triple threat: a stellar surgeon, researcher, and teacher,” said Dr. Adzick. “Although significant work needs to be done before prenatal gene editing can be translated from the lab to the clinic, this technique has the potential to revolutionize fetal medicine. Bill’s groundbreaking research, combined with his surgical skills and ability to teach others, will make him a leader in the field.”

Endowments such as the Adzick-McCausland Distinguished Chair guarantee funding for a variety of essential work, from specific areas of research to vital patient care and social, emotional and financial support for families in need. The new distinguished chair will allow CHOP’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment to continue to transform fetal medicine and develop lifesaving treatments that improve the lives of children and their families.


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