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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 3054578, 9 pages
Review Article

Exploring the Underlying Genetics of Craniofacial Morphology through Various Sources of Knowledge

1Department of Neurosciences, Experimental Otorhinolaryngology, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, P.O. Box 721, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
2Multidisciplinary Cleft Lip and Palate Team, UZ Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 33, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
3Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Kapucijnenvoer 33, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
4Department of Anthropology, Penn State University, 409 Carpenter Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA
5Medical Image Computing, ESAT/PSI, Department of Electrical Engineering, KU Leuven, Medical Imaging Research Center, Herestraat 49, P.O. Box 7003, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Received 4 October 2016; Accepted 15 November 2016

Academic Editor: Ilker ERCAN

Copyright © 2016 Jasmien Roosenboom et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The craniofacial complex is the billboard of sorts containing information about sex, health, ancestry, kinship, genes, and environment. A thorough knowledge of the genes underlying craniofacial morphology is fundamental to understanding craniofacial biology and evolution. These genes can also provide an important foundation for practical efforts like predicting faces from DNA and phenotype-based facial diagnostics. In this work, we focus on the various sources of knowledge regarding the genes that affect patterns of craniofacial development. Although tremendous successes recently have been made using these sources in both methodology and biology, many challenges remain. Primary among these are precise phenotyping techniques and efficient modeling methods.