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Dr. Nah-Cederquist investigates solutions to clinical problems in pediatric plastic surgery. Her lab is built around the strengths of CHOP's clinical practices and basic science research. This offers the unique opportunity to directly test hypotheses born from clinical problems in the laboratory, and to take new technologies and concepts developed in the laboratory to patient care.
Dr. Nah-Cederquist leads CHOP's Craniofacial Research Laboratory, which aims to enhance understanding of the etiology and pathologic processes underlying birth defects affecting the craniofacial skeleton and joints. The lab accomplishes this through basic science research and translating those findings into innovative therapies. Under these goals, the lab is currently working on three main topics.
One project focuses on cleft lip and palate (CL/P) and involves determining what genes increase a child's susceptibility to orofacial clefting and whether clefting may be prevented or effectively treated. Although the most common craniofacial birth defect, investigators are still working to understand the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms required for normal fusion of the facial processes during early embryonic development. In collaboration with Dr. Castens at the University of Pennsylvania, who has developed a novel CL/P mouse model, Dr. Nah-Cederquist is testing candidate genes and signaling molecules central for upper lip and palate formation. In this study, the lab is using in utero gene transfer approach and ex vivo whole embryo culture system.
A second research project by Dr. Nah-Cederquist involves the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which has unique anatomical and histological organization to meet its functional requirements. Malformation and/or destruction of the TMJ, such as in first or second branchial arch syndromes, juvenile arthritis, and trauma, have serious consequences in jaw function and facial morphology. In collaboration with Dr. E. Koyama in the Division of Orthopedic Surgery at CHOP, Dr. Nah-Cederquist and her lab are investigating the developmental and cellular processes that dictates formation, development, and maintenance of structural organization of the TMJ.
In addition, Dr. Nah-Cederquist is designing a regenerative bone scaffold-based tissue engineering strategy that could help repair of non-load bearing craniofacial bony defects resulting from trauma or birth defects. This study focuses development of a novel delivery system for bone morphogenic proteins.
Education and Training
DDS, Seoul National University
DMD, University of Pennsylvania
PhD, University of Connecticut Health Center (Molecular Biology)
Titles and Academic Titles
Director, Craniofacial Research Laboratory
Research Associate Professor of Surgery
Clinical Associate Professor
Asian Pacific Dental Student Association, 1979-
American Association of Orthodontists, 1981-
International Association for Dental Research, 1984-
American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1989-
American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 1996-
American Dental Association, 2001-
American Cleft Palate Association, 2005-