Genetics of Oral-Facial Clefts

       

Clefts of the lip and palate are common birth defects, affecting approximately one  in 700 births worldwide. The incidence rate is widely variable and is related to geographic origin. An isolated oral-facial cleft includes clefts in the absence of any additional physical or cognitive deficits. The etiology of clefting is complex, with multiple genetic and environment influences. To better understand the genetic etiology of this disease, our research develops in three fronts:

    • We use dental anomalies as an extended phenotype for clefts, with the goal to create new opportunities for gene identification of this disease.
    • We study the relationship between cancer susceptibility and risks for clefts
    • We study, using zebrafish, how oxygen deprivation modulates craniofacial development.