Katherine Neiswanger, PhD




Bridgeside Point Building
100 Technology Drive, Suite 500
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Research Associate Professor

Department of Oral Biology
School of Dental Medicine

Research Interests

Oral-Facial Cleft Families: Phenotype and Genetics:  Nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P) is a major birth defect with many different genetic and environmental causes that remain incompletely understood. This project ascertains families with at least two affected family members, in order to find genes underlying CL/P.

Genetic Factors Contributing to Oral Health Disparities in Appalachia (COHRA):  Oral health is a complex trait with genetic, environmental and behavioral components. Oral health disparities exist throughout Appalachia, with many edentulous young adults. This project will study the genetic, environmental and behavioral components of oral health in Appalachia, with the aim of developing appropriate targeted interventions to improve oral health in this community.

Recent Publications


Neiswanger K, Weinberg SM, Rogers CR, Brandon CA, Cooper ME, Bardi KM, Deleyiannis FWB, Resick JM, Bowen A, Mooney MP, de Salamanca JE, González B, Maher BS, Martin RA, Marazita ML. Orbicularis oris muscle defects as an expanded phenotypic feature in nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 143A: 1143-1149, 2007.

Weinberg SM, Neiswanger K, Marazita ML. The use of ultrasound to visualize the upper lips of noncleft and repaired-cleft individuals. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 44: 683-684, 2007.

Weinberg SM, Neiswanger K, Richtsmeier JT, Maher BS, Mooney MP, Siegel MI,  Marazita ML. Three-dimensional morphometric analysis of craniofacial shape in the unaffected relatives of individuals with nonsyndromic orofacial clefts: a possible marker for genetic susceptibility. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 146A: 409-420, 2008.

Weinberg SM, Brandon CA, McHenry TH, Neiswanger K, Deleyiannis FWB, de Salamanca JE, Castilla EE, Czeizel AE, Vieira AR, Marazita ML. Rethinking isolated cleft palate: evidence of occult lip defects in a subset of cases. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A: 146A: 1670-1675, 2008.

Suzuki S,  Marazita ML, Cooper ME, Miwa N, Hing A, Jugessur A,  Natsume N, Shimozato K, Ohbayashi N, Suzuki Y, Niimi T, Minami K, Yamamoto M, Altannamar TJ, Erkhembaatar T, Furukawa H, Daack-Hirsch S, L’Heureux J, Brandon CA, Weinberg SM, Neiswanger K, Deleyiannis FWB, de Salamanca JE, Vieira AR, Lidral AC, Martin JF, Murray JC. Mutations in BMP4 are associated with subepithelial, microform, and overt cleft lip. American Journal of Human Genetics 84: 406-411, 2009.

Weinberg SM, Naidoo S, Bardi KM, Brandon CA, Neiswanger K, Resick JM, Martin RA, Marazita ML. Face shape of unaffected parents with cleft affected offspring: combining three-dimensional surface imaging and geometric morphometrics. Orthodontics and Craniofacial Research 12: 271-281, 2009.

Neiswanger K, Chirigos KW, Klotz CM, Cooper ME,Bardi KM, Brandon CA, Weinberg SM, Vieira AR, Martin RA, Czeizel AE, Castilla EE, Poletta FA, Marazita ML. Whorl Patterns on the Lower Lip are Associated with Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip with or without Cleft Palate. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 149A: 2673-2679, 2009.