Scope of Research

The Craniofacial Biology (CB) Research Laboratory studies the growth, development and function of the masticatory system. Work at this center focuses on craniofacial deformity and asymmetry, temporomandibular disorders (TMD), and orthodontic and surgical treatment outcomes related to malocclusion. 

Research is characterized by classic scientific approaches for the genotype-phenotype basis of human diseases, while ongoing efforts are strengthened by diagnostic breakthroughs in the understanding of subclassifications of craniofacial asymmetry. The CB research laboratory leads the field in identifying links between craniofacial asymmetry and TMD, as well as determining whether treatment alleviates or worsens malocclusion-associated conditions.

The facility comprises a 780-square-foot renovated laboratory space outfitted with freezers, microcentrifuges, scales and thermal cyclers for polymerase chain reaction.

Scientific techniques include the following.

  • Clinical diagnosis and treatment outcomes
  • Gene expression
  • Genotyping and geometric morphometrics
  • Muscle physiology

The CB research laboratory is currently exploring potential environmental factors in the development of malocclusion among traditionally underserved North Philadelphia patient populations. A high throughput screening clinic is collecting demographic and phenotypic information on area patients who are seeking standard orthodontic treatment.


Recent Funding

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
“Musculoskeletal Heritable Influences on Malocclusion”
12.5% effort September 2012–August 2015
Principal Investigator: J. Sciote
Amount: $415,499

Selected Publications

Nicot, R., Hottenstein, M., Raoul, G., Ferri, J., Horton, M., Tobais, J., Barton, E., Sciote, J.J. Asymmetry pathway genes are down regulated in facial asymmetry. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 2014;25(6):e548–555. PMC4224967.

Zebrick, B., Nicot, R., Raoul, G., Ferri, J., Horton, M., Vieira, A., Sciote, J.J. ACTN3 R577X genotypes associate with Class II and deep bite malocclusions. American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 2014;146(5):603–611. PMC4254725.

Nicot, R., Vieira, A.R., Raoul, G., Delmotte, C., Ferri, J., Sciote, J.J. ENPP1 and ESR1 genotypes influence temporomandibular disorders development and surgical-treatment response in dento-deformities. Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery 2016;44:1226–1237. PMC5026604.

Constant, M., Nicot, R., Vieira, A.R., Raoul, G., Sciote, J.J., Ferri, J. Condylar geometry variation is associated with ENPP1 variant in a population of patients with dento-facial deformities. Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery 2017;45(6):826–836.

Chung, K., Richards, T., Nicot, R., Vieira, A., Raoul, G., Ferri, J., Sciote, J.J. ENPP1 and ESR1 genotypes associated with subclassifications of craniofacial asymmetry and severity of TMD.  American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics; Nov. 2017;152(5):631–645.

Sahin, T., Garreau, E., Komakli, Y., Sciote, J.J., Ferri, J. Mandibular anterior segmental subapical osteotomy for incisor axis correction. Journal of Stomatology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery;2017:online 19 June, 2017.