Craniofacial, Oral Biology, Genetics & Dental Development
Craniofacial anomalies are among the most common forms of birth defects. The goal of this research group is to identify both genetic and environmental causes for facial birth defects, with a primary focus on orofacial clefting, including cleft lip and cleft palate. Our center builds upon a 40-year history of clinical and research studies on craniofacial anomalies at The University of Iowa and continues the tradition established over the past decade of interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research. The research includes not only a broad-based internal constituency but collaborative projects and interactions with colleagues in the United States and overseas. These projects offer access to novel populations and innovative techniques. A variety of approaches are utilized, including genetic and epidemiologic studies of human populations, and the development of animal models that are characterized through molecular biological and biochemical analyses, in addition to a variety of sophisticated imaging techniques.
- Dr. Brad A. Amendt
- Dr. Amendt's research focuses on studying the expression and regulation of transcription factor genes and signaling processes involved in craniofacial/tooth development, the molecular basis of selected human genetic disorders, and the role of stem cells and microRNAs in regulating craniofacial and regenerative medicine.
- Dr. Azeez Butali
- Dr. Butali's research interest focuses on elucidating the genetic causes of cleft lip and palate by conducting genome-wide association studies and next generation sequencing studies on cleft cohorts from Africa. These studies will identify new biological pathways critical to clefting while providing insights into interventions and prevention.
- Dr. Brian Howe
- Dr. Howe's research interests include dental caries, dental anomalies and their patterns in children with cleft lip and/or palate.
- Dr. Lina Moreno-Uribe
- Dr. Moreno's research interest focuses on performing a genome-wide search for genes that affect growth of the human face using whole genome association methods and the latest technology for facial imaging. She wants to identify genotype-phenotype correlations that contribute to the development of an individual's maxillo-mandibular complex. This knowledge will likely result in the development of novel orthodontic and maxillofacial therapies that will benefit patients.
- Dr. Arwa Owais
- Dr. Owais's research interests include prevention of dental caries in infants, toddlers, and adolescents, especially children of low income, limited access to care and high risk populations. Also of special interest to her is the medical management of caries in children, adolescents and adults. She is conducting research on silver compounds and their effect on preventing and arresting caries. Dr. Owais is a co-principal investigator of an ongoing clinical trial investigating medical management of dental caries in children using silver nitrate.