Research Director

Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Lab. Phone: 267-426-5563
Email Address:


Dr. Nah has a D.D.S. degree from Seoul National University, a Master's degree in Orthodontics from Case Western Reserve University, a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Connecticut and a D.M.D degree from the University of Pennsylvania.


She is currently the Research Director of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and a Research Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She is also on the clinical staff of Orthodontics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Selected awards and honors include:

  • 1994 Young Investigator Award, East Coast Connective Tissue Society
  • 1996 Caulk/Dentsply Student Research Group Award (Faculty Sponsor), International/American Association for Dental Research (IADR/AADR)
  • 1996 Young Investigator Award, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
  • 2000 Stewart J. Mcracken Award, Arthritis Foundation Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter
  • 2000- Center Scholar; The Center for Research in FOP and Related Disorders
  • 2002- The Council of Scientific Affairs, American Association of Orthodontisits (AAO)
  • 2002- Councilor, Craniofacial Biology Group. AADR/IADR
  • 2004- Editorial Board, Journal of Dental Research
  • 2005- Planning and Review Committee, AAO Foundation
  • 2008- Chair, Scientific Program Planning Committee, 2010 AAO Annual meeting
  • 2009- President Elect, Craniofacial Biology Group, IADR/AADR

Current Funding:

Department of Defense

Selected Recent Publications:

  • Nah, H.-D., M. Pacifici, L. C. Gerstenfeld, S. L. Adams, and T. Kirsch. 2000. A transient chondrogenic phase in intramembranopus pathway during normal skeletal development. J Bone Min Res 15:522-533.
  • Nah, H.-D. 2000. Suture Biology: Lessons from molecular genetics of craniosynostosis syndromes. Clin Orthod Res 3:37-45.
  • Nicozisis, J. L., H.-D. Nah and O.C. Tuncay. 2000. Relaxin affects the dentofacial sutural tissues. Clin Orthod Res 3:192-201
  • Kirsch, T., B. Swoboda and H.-D. Nah. 2000. Activation of annexin II and V expression, cellular hypertrophy, mineralization and apoptosis in human arthritic cartilage. Osteoarthritis & cartilage, cartilage 8:294-302.
  • Kirsch, T., G. Harrison, E.E. Golub, and H.-D. Nah. 2000. The role of Annexins, type II and X collagen in matrix vesicle-mediated mineralization of growth plate cartilage. J Biol Chem 275:35577-35583.
  • Nah, H.-D., B. Swoboda, D. E. Birk, and T. Kirsch. 2001. Type IIA procollagen expression during normal development of limb cartilage; Re-expression of type IIA procollagen in early hypertrophic cartilage and human arthritic articular cartilage. Developmental Dynamics, 220:307-322.
  • Ratisoontorn C., G.-F. Fan, K. McEntee and H.-D Nah. 2003. Activating (P253R, C278F) and dominant negative mutations of Fgfr2: differential effects on calvarial bone cell proliferation, differentiation and mineralization. Connec Tissue Res, 44: 292-298
  • Mao JJ, Nah HD. 2004. Growth and development: Hereditary and mechanical modulations. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 125(6):676-689,.
  • Fakhry A, Ratisoontorn C, Vedhachalam C, Salhab I, Koyama E, Leboy P, Pacifici M, Kirschner R, Nah HD. Effects of FGF2/9 in calvarial bone cell cultures: Differentiation stage-dependent mitogenic effect, opposite regulation of BMP2 and noggin, and enhancement of osteogenic potential. Bone 36(2):254-266, Feb. 2005.
  • Choi KY, Kim HJ, Lee MH, Kwon TG, Nah HD, Furuichi T, Komori T, Nam SH, Kim YJ, Kim HJ, Ryoo HM. 2005 Runx2 regulates FGF2-induced Bmp2 expression during cranial bone development. Dev Dyn 233(1):115-121.
  • Lin, I. C., A.E. Slemp, C. Hwang, M. Sena-Esteves, H,-D. Nah, R.E. Kirschner. 2007. Toward an Understanding of Non-syndromic Craniosynostosis: Dihydrotestosterone stimulates proliferation and differentiation of fetal calvarial osteoblasts and dural cells and promotes cranial suture fusion in vitro. Plastic Reconstr Surg
  • Cabiling, D.S., Kim, E., Yan, D., Jacob, S., Nah, HD., Kirschner, RE. Differential Effects of TGF-beta Isoforms on Murine Fetal Dural Cells and Calvarial Osteoblasts. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. In press
  • Loomes, K.M., Stevens, S.A., O'Brien, M.L., Gonzalez, D.M., Ryan, M.J., Segalov, M., Dormans,N.J., Mimoto, M.S., Gibson, J.D., Sewell, W., Schaffer, A.A., Nah, H.-D, Rappaport, E.F., Pratt, S.C., Dunwoodie, S.L., Kusumi, K. 2007 Dll3 and Notch1 genetic interactions model axial segmental andcraniofacial malformations of human birth defects. Dev Dyn
  • Lee, K-J, Chen, I-P, Park, K-K, Osyczka, OM, Leboy, PS, Nah, H-D. 2007. FGF9 induction of osteocalcin gene expression requires down-regulation of Msx2 in calvarial osteoblasts. Submitted
  • Chen IP, Lee KJ, Diefenderfer D, Leboy PS, and Nah HD. 2007. FGF9/FGFR2 Signaling regulates expression and functional activity of Runx2 in model calvarial osteoblasts. Submitted.