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Craniofacial, Oral Biology, Genetics & Dental Development

Comparative of the clinical and bone volumetric outcomes in ridges that underwent alveolar ridge preservation via socket grafting versus control sites (tooth extraction alone)Comparative of the clinical and bone volumetric outcomes in ridges that underwent alveolar ridge preservation via socket grafting versus control sites (tooth extraction alone)Radiographic and clinical measurements of alveolar ridges post-extractionRadiographic and clinical measurements of alveolar ridges post-extraction


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. Veerasathpurush Allareddy
Dr. Allareddy's research interests include infant orthopedic outcomes evaluation; early versus late alveolar bone grafting outcomes; quality of care; access to care; health services research and policy.
Dr. Veeratrishul Allareddy
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. Gustavo Avila-Ortiz
Ms. Karen A. Baker
Dr. Christopher Barwacz
Dr. Kim Brogden
Dr. Richard G. Burton
Dr. Burton's current research includes evaluating treatment of edentulous upper jaws with an implant-supported prosthesis in patients with poor bone quality.
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. Huojun Cao
Dr. Robert Cornell
Dr. Isabelle Denry
Dr. Martine Dunnwald
Dr. Satheesh Elangovan
Dr. Steven Fletcher
Dr. Robert G. Franciscus
Dr. Franciscus's research focuses on the Middle and Later Pleistocene period of genus Homo evolution. He is particularly interested in the evolutionary significance of the distinctive Neanderthal craniofacial pattern and the possible developmental, biomechanical, and stochastic models underlying its evolution over time in Europe and western Asia. He is also interested in the origins of modern humans and the definitional problems associated with the concept of anatomical "modernity."
Dr. Kirk L. Fridrich
His research includes hard and soft tissue grafting, osseointegration and the atrophic maxilla, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Dr. Matthew K. Geneser
Dr. Manuel R. Gomez
Dr. Nidhi Handoo
Dr. Ryan W. Hill
Dr. Darren Hoffmann
Dr. Nathan E. Holton
Dr. Holton's research interests include craniofacial biology, facial growth and development, and functional anatomy; paleoanthropology and the Late Pleistocene human evolution; and the evolution of Neanderthal and modern human facial anatomy.
Dr. Liu Hong
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. David C. Johnsen
Dr. David A. Jones
Dr. Douglas E. Kendrick
Dr. Emily Lanzel
Dr. Patricia Meredith
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. Michael D. Murrell
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.
Dr. Reed Parker
Dr. Natalia Restrepo-Kennedy
Dr. Rodrigo Rocha Maia
Dr. Kyungsup Shin
Dr. Shin's areas of research include tissue engineering, biomaterials & biomimetrics, craniofacial anomalies, cleft lip and palate, and health care service and policy. His current research topic is the effect of mandibular advancement on velopharyngeal closure and speech performance.
Ms. Cathy Skotowski
Dr. Saulo Sousa Melo
Dr. Thomas E. Southard
Dr. Southard research activities include computer-based imaging; biomechanics of orthodontic treatment; jaw, dental implants, and dental function; and orthodontic treatment relapse.
Dr. Kyle M. Stein
Dr. Fabricio Teixeira
Dr. Sherry Timmons
Dr. William J. Synan
Dr. George Wehby