Current Research

Research At The Birth Defects Center

Research activities conducted by members of the Birth Defects Center are focused on improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of a variety of birth defects ..... the Center's mission. Such activities include, but are not limited to, investigations into:

  • Molecular mechanisms of craniofacial defects such as facial clefting and neural tube defects
  • Regulation of gene transcription in eukaryotic cells
  • Mechanisms by which drugs and environmental toxins alter embryonic development via modulation of the signal transduction pathways of endogenous growth/differentiation factors
  • Function and interplay of a group of genes/gene products which collectively have growth regulatory potential in the embryo, such as oncogenes, tumor supressor genes, cell cycle regulatory proteins, peptide growth factors and morphogens.
  • The molecular genetic basis of mental retardation
  • Clarification of the role of neural crest cells in craniofacial and cardiovascular development.
  • Role of Vitamin A metabolism in birth defects.
  • Pharmacogenetics of fetal tobacco smoke exposure.
  • Molecular and genetic control of early development of the central nervous system.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea and learning disabilities.

We live today in perhaps the most exciting time in the history of the biomedical sciences. Available knowledge and technology allows us not only to understand the causes of many birth defects, but to dramatically reduce the frequency of certain birth defects and to intervene and protect families and children from such tragedies.

2013-2014 Biennial Report

Birth Defects Center 2013-2014 Biennial Report (PDF)