Dr. Adzick is an internationally recognized pioneer in fetal surgery. He has dedicated his career to the pursuit of groundbreaking prenatal treatments for life-threatening and debilitating birth, including leading a breakthrough study that demonstrated that performing fetal surgery for spina bifida results in significantly improved outcomes compared to conventional postnatal repair. Dr. Adzick lead the creation of the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit, the world’s first birth facility in a pediatric hospital specifically designed for healthy mothers carrying babies with known birth defects.
He is an active pediatric general and thoracic surgeon, and performs more than 400 operations a year. In addition to fetal surgery, he performs surgery in newborns including repairs for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, abdominal wall defects, lung lesions and other complex neonatal conditions. As a part of the Congenital Hyperinsulinism Center team, he has performed more than 580 pancreatectomies —the most of any surgeon in the world — and more than 280 babies have been cured of focal hyperinsulinism through surgery. He is also a leader of the Pediatric Thyroid Center team which recently demonstrated that high thyroid surgery volumes at CHOP are associated with extremely low complication rates.
Dr. Adzick has had National Institutes of Health grant support for more than 30 years. He has authored more than 600 peer-reviewed publications and has an h-index of 111. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1998. He was awarded the John Scott Medal in 2013. Created in 1816, the John Scott Medal is presented to men and women whose inventions and innovations improved the “comfort, welfare, and happiness of human kind” in a significant way. Previous recipients include Thomas Edison, Madame Curie, the Wright Brothers, Nicola Tesla, Edwin Land, Jonas Salk, Frederick Banting, Guglielmo Marconi, Alexander Fleming, and several Nobel Laureates. In 2015, Dr. Adzick received the Samuel D. Gross Prize, one of the oldest prizes for surgery and surgical research in the world. It was established by Dr. Gross, the chair of surgery at Thomas Jefferson University, immortalized by Thomas Eakins’ painting “The Gross Clinic.” The Samuel D. Gross Prize was first awarded in 1895 and is only awarded once every five years to the American surgeon who has made the greatest contributions to surgery.
Dr. Adzick earned his baccalaureate and medical school degrees from Harvard, completed his surgical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital 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 an attending surgeon at the University of California San Francisco from 1988 until 1995, when he was recruited to CHOP. He is the C. Everett Koop Professor of Pediatric Surgery at CHOP and Professor of Surgery, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.