The State of Orofacial Cleft (OFC) Science Symposium symposium was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, to present the status of research and treatment for orofacial cleft. Planned to coincide with the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) annual meeting, held in Pittsburgh April 10-14 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the association this year, the symposium joined together internationally significant researchers and clinicians.
Guests and presenters were welcomed by Pitt Dental Medicine professor, and director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics, Dr. Mary Marazita, and associate professor, Dr. Seth Weinberg.
Morning Session presenters were Jeffrey C. Murray, MD, Adjunct Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Iowa, presented on "The Need, History, Impact and Future of Etiologic Studies of Orofacial Clefts"; Elizabeth Leslie, PhD, assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine who spoke on "From GWAS to Genomes ... and Beyond"; and Yang Chai, PhD, George and MaryLou Boone Professor, and director of the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California, whose presentation was titled "Regulatory Mechanism of Oropharyngeal Patterning and Soft Palate Development."
Afternoon presentations included Axel Visel, PhD, Deputy Director of Science at the DOE Joint Genome Institute and Senior Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: "Distant-Acting Enhancers in Craniofacial Development: Lessons for Mouse Studies"; Rob Cornell, PhD, professor at University of Iowa: "Decoding the Nechanistic Underpinnings of Genetic Risk for Orofacial Cleft: Using Zebrafish and Cell Lines for Variant Prioritization"; Rob Lipinski, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin: "Identifying Sonic Hedgehog Targets in the Neural Crest During Cleft Lip Pathogenesis"; and Jacqueline Hecht, PhD, Professor and Division Head of the Pediatric Research Center, Vice Chair for Research, Leah L. Lewis Distinguished Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at UTHealth Medical School, and Associate Dean for Research,UTHealth School of Dentistry at the University of Texas, Houston,: "Epigenetics of Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and Palate: DNA Methylation Differences Between Discordant Monozygotic Twins."