Human Craniofacial Health
The Menegaz Lab is currently collaborating with the Organ Lab (Indiana University School of Medicine) to investigate the cellular and structural mechanisms underlying the development of craniofacial phenotypes in a mouse model of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as brittle bone disease. OI is a genetic disorder of Type I collagen and is characterized by skeletal fragility and increased fracture susceptibility. Pediatric patients with OI suffer from the underdevelopment of the midface and jaws, severe dental malocclusions (underbite), impacted teeth, and in some cases compromised tooth mechanical properties. Our research uses a mouse model of OI to ask why these skeletal and dental issues develop in the craniofacial complex. We are also investigating behavioral and pharmaceutical interventions to prevent and/or alleviate these issues in OI patients.