School of Medicine

Prufrock to study how tooth formation affects face shape

As teeth grow from their germinal state as soft blobs of tissue to hard nuggets complete with enamel and roots, bones in the jaw are also taking shape. Scientists have understood that developing bones respond to the tissue and spaces around them, including primordial teeth, but the mechanisms aren’t fully explained. 

Kristen Prufrock, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is teaming up with anatomists from several other institutions to identify the cellular principles governing how facial bones take shape.

(Photo: The Source)

The team received a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop 3D reconstructions of dental and bone features throughout developmental stages and produce models that explain the role of the developing dentition in driving facial form.

Read more on the Department of Neuroscience website.