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Center on Human Development and Disability

Research Areas

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Behavioral Science Core

Brain Imaging Core

Cellular Morphology Core

Genetics Core

Animal Behavior Core

Instrument Development Laboratory Core

Collaborative Research Area on Craniofacial Malformations

Coordinator: Michael Cunningham, M.D., Ph.D.

Craniofacial malformations are among the most common structural birth defects. These complex disorders are often associated with developmental disabilities, abnormalities of brain growth, hearing loss and major functional problems with breathing, chewing, swallowing, and speech. Children born with these conditions require interdisciplinary team care involving many specialties including audiology, dentistry, genetics, maxillofacial surgery, neurosurgery, nursing, nutrition, occupational and physical therapy, ophthalmology, orthodontics, otolaryngology, pediatrics, plastic and reconstructive surgery, psychiatry/psychology, social work, and speech pathology.

The goal of the Collaborative Research Area on Craniofacial Malformations is to enhance understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of craniofacial malformations. The research conducted by faculty investigators in this CRA spans genetics, developmental biology, epidemiology, functional manifestations, treatment strategies and clinical outcomes. Current projects include the investigation of the molecular genetics of craniofacial microsomia, the neurocognitive outcomes in children with craniosynostosis, and the genotype phenotype correlations in 22q11.2 deletions syndromes. These basic studies will help form the basis of future translational research focusing health and well being of children and adults with these complex conditions.

Scientists in this interdisciplinary research group utilize a combination of techniques involving cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, neuropsychology, brain imaging, 3-dimensional imaging, stereophotogrammetry, micro-computed tomography, clinical investigation, and epidemiology to answer fundamental questions using animal and human model systems. Close working relationships with clinical activities will facilitate bi-directional transfer of knowledge between new scientific discoveries and the patients who may be affected in the future.

Craniofacial Center at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center

Faculty Investigators

  • Michael Cunningham, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Pediatrics, Biological Structure and Oral Biology, Coordinator
  • Craig Birgfeld, M.D., Assistant Professor, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • John Clark, Ph.D., Professor, Biological Structure
  • Timothy Cox, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Oral Biology
  • Mark Egbert, D.D.S., Associate Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Richard Ellenbogen, M.D., Professor and Chair, Neurosurgery
  • Carrie Heike, M.D., MS, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
  • Susan Herring, Ph.D., Professor, Orthodontics, School of Dentistry
  • Anne Hing, M.D., Associate Professor, Pediatrics
  • Richard Hopper, M.D., Assistant Professor, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Katherine Rafferty, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Orthodontics
  • David Raible, Ph.D., Professor, Biological Structure
  • Tom Reh, Ph.D., Professor, Biological Structure
  • Henk Roelink, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biological Structure
  • Kathy Sie, M.D., Professor, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
  • Matthew Speltz, Ph.D., Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Jackie Starr, M.S., M.P.H., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Epidemiology
  • Avery Weiss, M.D., Professor, Ophthalmology

University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 •