Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of Palate Development

Skeletal analysis of cleft palate mouse model.

Our long-term research goal is to decipher the gene regulatory network that directs the embryonic palate development.

Project is Not Currently Available

This project has reached full capacity for the current term. Please check back next semester for updates.

Project description

Cleft palate (CP) is caused by disruption of palatogenesis during embryonic development. Although surgery is a standard option to repair CP, patients often require additional surgeries, special dental care, and speech therapy as they get older. A more comprehensive understanding of palatogenesis will lead to development of better methods for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of issues associated with CP. Despite extensive studies on palatogenesis, developmental gene regulation programs are poorly understood. This project aims to pioneer the gene regulatory network for palatogenesis. Our main experimental approaches involve cell/molecular biology, mouse genetics and genome-wide studies.

Project outcomes

  • Learn how to run science projects by setting up a hypothesis and testing the idea rigorously. 
  • Obtain hands-on experimental techniques. 
  • Publish the experimental results in journals (and pick up writing skills).

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Year-long (10-12 months) 
Start time Anytime
In-person, remote, or hybrid?
Level of collaboration Individual student projects 
Benefits Academic credit 
Who is eligible All undergraduate students 

Project mentor

Hyuk-Jae Edward Kwon

Assistant Professor

Oral Biology

Phone: (716) 829-6301


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  • Reading seminal articles or books
  • Watching relevant videos
  • Attending workshops or orientations (i.e., lab safety, cultural competency training, etc.)


Oral Biology