Outstanding Alumni Awards - Catherine "Kitty" Mackey

Catherine "Kitty" Mackey
Catherine “Kitty” Mackey ’77, Ph.D. ’83

Throughout her extraordinary career, Catherine “Kitty” Mackey has translated leading-edge science into solutions for real-world problems.

Mackey’s career began in agricultural biotechnology with Pfizer and then DEKALB Genetics, where she invented and applied new genetic technologies to create plant varieties with increased yields while lowering use of harmful herbicides and pesticides.

Next, her passion for a healthier world led Mackey to make a career transition that few have navigated – from agriculture to human health. Mackey served as senior vice president of Pfizer’s Global Research and Development, overseeing Pfizer’s La Jolla Laboratories, its staff of 1,000, one-million-square-foot campus and $300 million budget. Her team delivered four cutting-edge cancer fighting-drugs

Since retiring from Pfizer, Mackey has served on the Boards of Directors of numerous biotech companies and started one of her own — CYPrus Therapeutics, Inc., focusing on improving the safety and efficacy of medicines by altering their metabolism.

In addition, Mackey has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, in particular Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego, where she has been instrumental in forming the Rady Children’s Institute of Genomic Medicine.