USC-led research team shares 10 years’ progress in collecting data to push craniofacial science forward
21 Sep 20
In a new Development journal article, the research team shares some of its decade’s worth of datasets and invites new contributors to participate.
IT HAS BEEN A LITTLE MORE THAN A DECADE since the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) launched FaceBase, a central repository for craniofacial datasets and tools meant to advance craniofacial science by fostering cooperation and collaboration around the globe.
The endeavor, which represents contributions by researchers from more than two dozen universities across the globe, entered its third phase last year, with a $12.5 million grant.
In a newly published Development article, titled “FaceBase 3: Analytical Tools and FAIR Resources for Craniofacial Research,” the interdisciplinary research team shared datasets collected throughout the past decade and showcased their third-phase plans.
Additionally, they announced the welcoming (and thorough vetting) of new data submissions from those who have relevant data to share — compared to the first and second phases, during which FaceBase operated in a spoke-and-hub model and only accepted data submissions from spoke projects.
“Over the last 10 years, FaceBase has evolved as the most comprehensive data resource for the craniofacial research community,” said Associate Dean of Research and study principal investigator Yang Chai PhD ’91, DDS ’96. “With the support of NIDCR and our research colleagues throughout the world, we will continue to expand the data available through FaceBase in service of research to advance dental and craniofacial health.”
FaceBase launched in 2009, with research focused on the face’s middle region and the genetics related to developmental disorders like cleft lip and cleft palate.
The data collected from these projects created an unprecedented, freely available resource for the scientific community.
Since then, projects have expanded to include other regions of the face and skull.
To date, the repository includes more than 880 datasets on human, mouse, zebrafish and chimpanzee prenatal and postnatal development, including both typically and atypically developing individuals — all of which are available to the scientific community.
In 2014, USC scientists began to steward the multidisciplinary, multi-university collaboration, positioning USC as the data epicenter for oral and craniofacial research.
“We are very excited and honored to serve as the hub for FaceBase III,” Chai said in an article last year about the third-phase grant. “This NIDCR-supported Craniofacial Development and Dysmorphology Data Management and Integration Hub will continue to develop towards a comprehensive resource for researchers around the globe and highlights the leadership provided by interdisciplinary researchers at USC to bring oral and craniofacial research to the next level of excellence.”
The project’s principal investigators are Carl Kesselman, Dean’s Professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and director of Informatics Systems Research Division at the Information Sciences Institute in the Viterbi School of Engineering, and Chai, who is also director of the Center of Craniofacial and Molecular Biology, and Among the article’s 39 authors are USC contributors Bridget Samuels, who played a major role in putting the article together; Thach-Vu Ho; Yuan Yuan; Alejandro Bugacov PhD ’95; Joseph G. Hacia; Robert Schuler ’95, MS ’08; and Cristina Williams.
When she isn’t treating patients at Ostrow, Taylor Purks DDS ’22 is on the lacrosse field. The one-time Howard University lacrosse player recently competed with the Puerto Rican lacrosse team, winning second place at the 2021 Pan-American Lacrosse Association (PALA) Sixes Cup in early September. DURING HER FIRST YEAR as a dental student, Taylor […]
Jian Xu hopes to better understand the mechanisms behind environmental toxins increasing the occurrence of birth defects in order to develop new treatments or even prevent craniofacial birth defects. NEARLY 120,000 BABIES WILL BE BORN with birth defects this year. While there are a number of causes — genetics and chromosomal issues, infections during pregnancy, […]
Ostrow adds 3-D intraoral scanning training to orthodontics module for DDS and ASPID students. THROUGHOUT JUNE, THE ADVANCED ORTHODONTICS CLINIC on the Norris Dental Science Center’s third floor was abuzz with activity. Over the course of five half-day sessions, more than 180 students from the DDS Class of 2024 and the ASPID Class of 2023 […]
Ostrow researchers awarded five-year grant to investigate how a popular antidepressant interacts with pregnant women’s genes to cause craniofacial birth defects NEARLY 25 PERCENT OF PREGNANT WOMEN TAKE CITALOPRAM — a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that works by boosting levels of the “feel good” hormone serotonin. While the antidepressant might have positive effects on […]
The prestigious five-year training grants are meant to support tomorrow’s leading thinkers in craniofacial research as they launch their academic careers. OSTROW HAS BEEN AWARDED TWO RESEARCH GRANTS from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to support nine PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, giving USC the distinction of being just one of […]