Cover photo for Christopher James Sipe's Obituary
Christopher James Sipe Profile Photo

Christopher James Sipe

January 20, 1990 — October 13, 2022


Christopher James Sipe

Christopher James Sipe, cherished son and brother, left us too early and unexpectedly on Thursday, October 13th. Chris was deeply loved by his family and friends, admired by his colleagues, and respected by all whose lives he touched.

Born in Minneapolis, Chris grew up in Golden Valley and graduated from Hopkins High School. He received his Bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a Chemistry minor from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He received his Masters degree in Stem Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota and was in the process of obtaining his PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics also from the University of Minnesota.

As a 4th year PhD candidate training with Drs. Moriarity and Webber in the Medical School's Department of Pediatrics, he was developing novel therapies for a fatal genetic disease termed Fanconi anemia. He recently published seminal work describing the first report of genome engineering approaches to correct patient cells with high efficiency and fidelity. Chris was well on his way to graduation with an incredible trajectory. He was a brilliant scientist and disseminator of scientific knowledge, having presented his work at numerous local and national scientific conferences and publishing more than a dozen scientific articles in his short career. Chris received many prestigious awards, including travel awards from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) and the U of M for Genome Engineering. He was also an inaugural recipient of the U of M's Stem Cell Institute's Infuse Predoctoral Grant Program and very recently received the coveted Perry B. Hackett award for Genome Engineering. Always willing to go out of his way to help others personally and professionally, Chris was highly respected and admired by his peers. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him in the University of Minnesota community and also by future patients with genetic disorders who might have benefited from Chris' work.

In addition to his brilliant mind, intellectual capacity, and achievements, he possessed an understated whimsical nature and a loving, giving heart. He had a kind and gentle soul, great sense of humor and playful disposition. He loved children and all animals. He cared deeply for his friends and family. He was humble and supported others in a selfless manner. Chris had many friends and had a warm embracing demeanor that attracted a wide variety of people and personalities. Chris was loved by all.

Despite several long standing medical and life challenges, Chris maintained a positive attitude and didn't let obstacles interfere with his work or interactions with family and friends. He had a genuine love and curiosity for music, art, books, and self expression, which came out in his drawings, photography, and tattoos. He had a zest for life and enjoyed many rich experiences such as traveling and attending music festivals.

Chris' accomplishments, personality, kindness, and drive will always be remembered. He is missed tremendously by those whose lives he touched. His spirit and legacy will live on and inspire others for years to come.

He is survived by his mother Dawne Starkey, father Dr. James Sipe, sister Rachel Sipe, grandmother Virginia Sipe, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A memorial service to honor and celebrate Chris' life will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 20, at the McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota, 200 SE Oak Street, Minneapolis.

In lieu of flowers , donations are suggested to the Christopher J. Sipe Research Fund at the University of Minnesota.


Further memorial preferences to be determined soon.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Christopher James Sipe, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

McNamara Alumni Center (Minneapolis)

200 Southeast Oak Street, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 36

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree