Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
Australian Craniofacial Unit - Research

Australian Craniofacial Unit


In order to advance the knowledge and treatment of craniofacial disorders, research scientists work as part of the team. Craniofacial clinicians are also dedicated to furthering current knowledge of craniofacial abnormalities and traumatic conditions within their specialties. This enables assessment to be made of the long term success of surgery and becomes the basis for modifying existing, and introducing new practices.

The Unit is currently studying phenotype (appearance) and recording genotype (genes) of selected craniofacial pathologies.

Phenotype activities have essentially been to establish tools of measurement and their application. For the genotype a management algorithm has been set up so the essential genetic information is collected for each relevant patient.

The ongoing thrust of department research is matching phenotype and genotype with a view to more accurate outcome measurement.

Current research programs include:

  • Craniofacial Morphology (distances and volumes)
  • Clinical cephalometrics
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Genetics
  • Biology of craniofacial deformities
  • Bone distraction.

An exciting example of collaborative research involves the harvesting of cells from skull sutures. This work is funded by the Australian Craniofacial Institute and is being carried out in the Unit by Associate Professor Peter Anderson in conjunction with Associate Professor Barry Powell from the Child Health Research Institute. This research is part of our investigation into the underlying mechanisms of craniosynostosis.

last modified: 24 Mar 2016