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Mary E. Norton


Perinatologist and clinical geneticist
Vice Chair, Clinical & Translational Genetics
Avid hiker with my dog, Juno

Mary E. Norton is a perinatologist and clinical geneticist at UCSF Medical Center's Prenatal Diagnostic Center. She primarily cares for pregnant women who have a fetus with a birth defect or genetic disorder or are at risk for such a condition. Norton performs obstetrical ultrasounds, counsels women in whom ultrasound detects a problem with the fetus and performs such prenatal tests as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. She also interprets complex genetic tests, especially when abnormalities are found. Her areas of interest in research include applying new genetic tests to prenatal diagnosis and fetal disease, as well as patient decision-making around genetic testing and obstetrical ultrasound. She is also the chair of the obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at UCSF.

Norton earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington in 1982. She completed her internship and residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Tuft University in Boston in 1990. She completed a fellowship in Maternal Fetal Medicine and Clinical Genetics at UCSF in 1993. After several years at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, she returned to San Francisco where she joined UCSF Medical Center in 1998.

She is the David E. Thorburn, M.D. and Kate McKee Thorburn Endowed Chair in Perinatal Medicine and Genetics at UCSF.

  • Education

    University of Washington School of Medicine, 1986

  • Residencies

    Tufts-New England Medical Center, OB/GYN, 1987

  • Fellowships

    Tufts-New England Medical Center, OB/GYN, 1990

    UCSF Medical Center, Genetics/Maternal Fetal Medicine, 1993

  • Board Certifications

    Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Clinical Genetics (MD), American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics

    Maternal-Fetal Medicine, American Board of OB/Gyn/Maternal & Fetal Medicine

  • Academic Title


"The most important thing is involving the mother in the conversation."

Where I see patients (6)

    My work

    The ins and outs of genetic testing while pregnant

    The number of prenatal genetic tests available to families continues to grow, especially near Silicon Valley. Dr. Norton helps explain this new landscape of options.

    Decorative Caduceus

    Genomic Sequencing in Anatomically Normal Fetuses

    Proportion of positive genetic diagnosis among all pregnancies with anatomically normal fetuses


    Decorative Caduceus

    A Trial of Pessary and Progesterone for Preterm Prevention in Twin Gestation With a Short Cervi...

    Preterm delivery or fetal loss prior to 35 weeks gestation


    I help pregnant women and their families understand challenges with their pregnancy or genetic history to support them making their own best choices.