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David Rice

David Rice

University of Helsinki


David Rice is Professor, Director of Dentistry and Head of Orthodontics at the University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital. From 2015-2019 he was Director of the Finnish Doctoral School in Oral Sciences (FINDOS).

Since 2010, Prof Rice has been Editor of the European Journal of Orthodontics. As Editor, he is intimately involved in developing and improving the standards of all aspects of orthodontic research with the ultimate goal of improving patient care that is based on quality evidence.

Prof Rice’s research is aimed at understanding the molecular basis of morphological change during craniofacial development, principally of the calvarial bones, palate & teeth. His lab-based research tries to discover the pathogenesis of abnormalities that result when normal development is disrupted, notably cleft lip/palate & craniosynostosis (premature fusion of the calvarial sutures). Practically speaking this work helps patients & clinicians understand their conditions, particularly regarding the most common questions that people ask in clinics ‘What has caused the condition?’ ‘When has it occurred?’ ‘Will it occur again?’ & ‘Can it be treated?’


Current approaches to understanding Cleft Lip/Palate: from basic science to big data


I will present some of the approaches used to shape our understanding of how the facial processes develop and a summary of our knowledge of the causes of cleft lip and palate. I will present research findings from my own lab that focus on 1. early morphogenetic events during facial development, 2. on individual patient phenotype/genotype correlations and 3. on population GWAS studies. I will show how findings from these studies are helping us understand the critical stages of development and what key regulatory mechanisms can go wrong and result in a craniofacial deformity. I will also describe how understanding the aetiology and characteristics of cleft lip/palate can be of great benefit to patients. This talk will be interesting to both orthodontic clinicians as well as the most committed craniofacial researchers.

Learning objectives

Participants will have a broad understanding of the methods used to discover the pathogenesis of cleft lip/palate and knowledge of some of the recent key discoveries made in the field.