The Craniofacial biology lab of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is focused on discovering new solutions to clinical problems in pediatric plastic surgery. Our laboratory is built around the strengths of the clinical practices both at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital. This offers us the unique opportunity to directly test hypotheses born from clinical problems in the laboratory, and to take new technologies developed in the laboratory, back into the operating room.

Primary goals of our on-going studies are to enhance current understanding of the etiology and pathologic processes underlying birth defects affecting the craniofacial structure through basic science research and to translate laboratory findings into the development of innovative therapies for pediatric craniofacial disorders, using cell- and gene-mediated approaches and tissue engineering.

Currently, we have six main projects ranging from the investigation of the role of certain genes in craniofacial formation to the development of new technologies. Our first project describes the pathologic process and mechanism of syndromic and non-syndromic craniosynostosis, the premature fusion of cranial sutures. Our second project investigates the role of the progressive ankylosis gene (ANKH) in bone metabolism, which has implications not only for craniometaphyseal dysplasia, but other skeletal disorders including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Our third and fourth projects both focus on cleft palate, determining what genes increase a child's susceptibility to clefting and whether clefting may be prevented through in utero somatic gene transfer. Our fifth project is to design a regenerative bone scaffold-based tissue engineering strategy that could help repair of large bony defects from trauma or congenital anomalies. Our final project is to explore the therapeutic potential of excretion/secretion of Lucila in promoting wound healing.

Website Coordinator Anne Radecki

Hyun-Duck Nah, DMD, PhD
Hyun-Duck Nah, DMD, PhD
Research Director
Craniofacial Research Laboratory
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Lab. Phone: 267-426-5563
Email Address: CraniofacialResearch