Catherine J. Hunter, MD

Attending Physician, Pediatric Surgery; Assistant Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine


Special Interests

Pathophysiology of necrotizing enterocolitis, abdominal sepsis, intestinal epithelial biology


Research Interests

Necrotizing enterocolitis, inflammatory bowel disease

Related Research Areas


Biographical Information

Professional Organizations

American College of Surgeons, Association of Women Surgeons, American Pediatric Surgical Association, Children’s Oncology Group

Medical School

Cornell University Medical College, 2003

Postgraduate Training

Fellowship in pediatric surgery, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, 2010-2012; Residency in surgery, University of California Los Angeles Harbor Medical Center, 2004-2010; Internship in surgery, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, 2003-2004

Additional Information

Dr. Hunter is a pediatric surgeon and physician-scientist focusing on the diagnosis, treatment and research of a variety of pediatric and neonatal disorders, including congenital anomalies of the lung, esophagus, diaphragm, intestines, pediatric tumors of the chest and abdomen, surgical correction of chest-wall defects with particular expertise in minimally invasive approaches to chest wall surgery.

In addition to clinical work and clinical research, Dr. Hunter has had a long-standing interest in intestinal epithelial biology and the origins and mechanisms of abdominal sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a devastating condition that affects premature newborns marked by rapid intestinal damage and intestinal-cell death.   

Dr. Hunter is the recipient of a number of grants and awards, including the Research Scholar Award from the American Gastroenterological Association and funding from the National Institutes of Health. 

Dr. Hunter is a member of several academic societies including the American College of Surgeons, Surgical Infection Society, the Association of Women Surgeons, American Pediatric Surgical Association, American Gastrointestinal Association and Children’s Oncology Group. 

She has benefited from the guidance of several excellent mentors during her training, and now enjoys the privilege of being a mentor to undergraduates, medical students, and residents.

Conditions Treated

  • Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Hernia (umbilical,  inguinal)
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Undescended testicle
  • Appendicitis
  • Abdominal wall defects—gastroschisis and omphalocele
  • Pyloric stenosis 
  • Intussusception (intestinal obstruction, intestinal telescoping)
  • CPAM (congenital pulmonary airway malformation)
  • Branchial cleft cyst
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (newborn intestinal necrosis)
  • Chronic constipation
  • Ovarian cryopreservation
  • Breast lumps in children
  • Chest wall deformities including pectus excavatum (sunken) and pectus carinatum (pigeon chest)
  • Abnormal ribs
  • Pediatric trauma

Procedures Performed

  • Thorascopic Nuss procedure for pectus excavatum
  • Abdominal and alimentary tract surgeries
  • Bowel surgery
  • Mesenteric cyst and mesenteric tumor resection
  • Breast surgery
  • Pancreatic surgery
  • Retroperitoneal tumor resection
  • Endocrine surgeries, including surgeries of the adrenal gland
  • Congenital neck cyst excision and drainage
  • Gynecologic surgeries, including ovary surgery and removal (oophorectomy), hysterectomy and pelvic cyst and tumor removal
  • Spleen surgery, splenectomy
  • Lymph node biopsy and excision
  • Rectal surgery
  • Diaphragmatic surgery
  • Thoracotomy
  • Vascular malformation removal
  • Muscle biopsies
  • Extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation

For appointments and referrals please call 1.KIDS.DOC (1.800.543.7362) or 312.227.4210.



View a listing of Dr. Hunters publications
View Dr. Hunter's Northwestern University Faculty Profile

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