NIDCR to Host Craniofacial Research Symposium on May 6, 2019


An image with a blue background showing pale blue and green lines forming abstract silhouettes of human faces.

NIDCR will host a craniofacial research symposium, “Looking Back and Facing the Future: From NIDR to NIDCR” on Monday, May 6, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Lipsett Amphitheater (Building 10), on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md. The event will showcase research accomplishments in craniofacial biology, from basic science to clinical applications, and will commemorate the addition in 1998 of “Craniofacial” to the Institute name. 

Two former directors, Dr. Lawrence Tabak and Dr. Harold Slavkin, will deliver talks at the event. The symposium will include presentations on craniofacial development and regeneration, wound healing, salivary gland development and regeneration, and bone metabolism.

ADA continuing dental education credits will be offered for this event. 


Image of Dr. Martha Somerman

8:30 – 8:40 am

Welcome and Introduction

Martha Somerman, DDS, PhD
Director, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health


Image of Dr. Harold Slavkin

8:40 – 9:00 am

The Birth of a Discipline: Craniofacial Biology

Harold Slavkin, DDS
Professor and Dean Emeritus, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California
Former NIDCR Director (1995-2000)


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9:00 – 9:10 am

Trends in Craniofacial, Dental, and Oral Sciences Research

Lawrence Tabak, DDS, PhD
Principal Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health
Former NIDCR Director (2000-2010)


Image of Dr. Yang Chai

9:10 – 9:50 am

Celebrating 70 Years of Excellence in Craniofacial Biology and Tissue Regeneration

Yang Chai, DDS, PhD
Professor and the George and MaryLou Boone Chair in Craniofacial Biology
University of Southern California


Image of Dr. Noriaki Ono

9:50 – 10:30 am

Cellular Plasticity and Stem Cell Activation in Skeletal Homeostasis and Regeneration

Noriaki Ono, DDS, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Michigan School of Dentistry


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10:30 – 10:40 am


Image of Dr. Maria Morasso

10:40 – 11:20 am

Primed for Healing: Oral vs Cutaneous Wound Healing

Maria Morasso, PhD
Senior Investigator
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIH


Image of Dr. Chia Soo

11:20 am – 12:00 pm

Improving Cutaneous Wound Healing: Lessons from Fetal Repair and Past Clinical Trials

Chia Soo, MD, FACS
Professor and Vice Chair for Research
David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles


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12:00  – 1:15 pm


Image of Dr. Janice Lee

1:15 – 1:25 pm

Craniofacial Disorders Driving Scientific Inquiry

Janice Lee, MD, DDS, MS
Clinical Director and Chief, Craniofacial Anomalies and Regeneration Section
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH


Image of Dr. Matthew Hoffman

1:25 – 2:05 pm

Salivary Development: Branching Out in the DIR

Matthew Hoffman, BDS, PhD
Scientific Director and Senior Investigator, Matrix & Morphogenesis Section
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH


Image of Dr. Mary Farach-Carson

2:05 – 2:45 pm

Restoring Salivation in Patients with Xerostomia

Mary ("Cindy") Farach-Carson, PhD
Professor, Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences and Director, Clinical and Translational Research
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Dentistry


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2:45  – 3:00 pm


Image of Dr. Hongjiao Ouyang

3:00 – 3:40 pm

The ER stress IRE1/XBP1 Signaling Transduction Pathway: A Novel Regulator Underlying the Development and Diseases of Mineralized Tissues

Hongjiao Ouyang, DDS, PhD, DMD
Tenured Associate Professor, College of Dentistry, Texas A&M University, and Affiliated Faculty Member, Charles and Jane Pak Center of Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


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3:40 – 4:20 pm

Periodontal Immunity - Studies in Rare-disease Patient Populations

Niki Moutsopoulos, DDS, PhD
Clinical Investigator, Oral Immunity and Infection Unit
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH


Image of Dr. Martha Somerman

4:20 – 4:30 pm

NIDCR 2030: A Vision for the Future Starts Now

Martha Somerman, DDS, PhD
Director, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health


Event Resources

  • The May 6 symposium is free and open to the public; no registration is required. View NIH Campus Visitor Information.
  • Individuals who need sign language interpreting and/or other reasonable accommodations to participate in this event should contact: Mary Daum at and 301-594-7559, or the Federal Relay at 1-800-877-8339. Requests should be made at least five days in advance of the event. 
  • The symposium will be Videocast live and archived.

ADA Continuing Dental Education Credits

NIDCR is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. NIDCR designates this activity for 6.5 continuing education credits. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to the Commission for Continuing Education Provider Recognition at

Dental CE Forms

Last Reviewed
April 2019

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