Research in the Division
The head is the most complicated structure of the body, housing the brain, sense organs and feeding organs and the commonest birth defects affect organs and tissues of the head.
Research investigating the mechanisms that control head development underpins a broader understanding of the genetic basis of craniofacial malformations. A multidisciplinary approach using different experimental models and techniques is employed to investigate cell signalling and transcriptional networks regulating development of craniofacial organs such as teeth, palate, sense organs, salivary glands muscle, skeleton and the brain.
Stem cells are found in most adult organs where they act as reservoirs of cells for continued growth or tissue repair following damage. Stem cells from several different craniofacial organs are being studied to understand their in-vivo function and cell biology and also their potential uses for clinical therapies involving the enhancement of natural repair processes and regenerative approaches to generate replacement tissues and organs for transplantation.