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Developmental Biology and Genetics Program

Contact: Dr. Steven Scholnick, 301-594-3977, ​​​

The Developmental Biology and Genetics program supports basic and translational research to understand the development of tooth and bone and to identify the genetic and environmental contributions to craniofacial disorders. The objective of this scientific program is to elucidate the underlying causes of craniofacial disorders, thereby advancing the fields of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Craniofacial Development

The Craniofacial Development Program supports basic and clinical research on normal and abnormal craniofacial development that relates to the causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of craniofacial disorders and diseases. Research support is focused on studies elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate craniofacial development. The program includes studies using a wide variety of mammalian and nonmammalian models.

The program supports studies on:

  • Craniofacial neural crest specification and migration
  • Pattern specification
  • Cell fate determination
  • Mechanisms that regulate developmental gene expression
  • The role of prenatal nutrition and environmental exposures on craniofacial development
  • Effects of mutations on developmental processes

Development of Tooth and Bone

Studies focusing on the development of hard tissues in the craniofacial region also are supported by this program. Basic research is being done to understand the origin of the cell tissue giving rise to teeth and bone, interactions between those tissue types, and the mechanisms controlling tooth shape and number.

Research areas include:

  • Tooth formation and eruption
  • Understanding global genetic and proteomic changes during tooth and bone development

In addition, the program encourages research that is responsive to the NIH Common Fund initiatives.

Additional Information

photo of Dr. Steven Scholnick 

Steven B. Scholnick, PhD
Director, Developmental Biology and Genetics Program
Translational Genomics Research Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
6701 Democracy Blvd., 6th floor, MSC 4878
Bethesda, MD  20892-4878 (regular mail)
Bethesda, MD  20817 (overnight mail or courier service)
Phone: 301-594-3977
Fax: 301-480-8319

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This page last updated: October 26, 2017