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Craniofacial and Molecular Genetics

Welcome to the Division of Craniofacial and Molecular Genetics, Directed by Dr. Pamela C. Yelick, PhD. Dr. Yelick is a tenured full professor in the Department of Orthodontics, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and also holds adjunct appointments in the Cell Molecular and Developmental Biology, Genetics, and Pharmacology Programs in the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts Medical School, Boston, MA, and in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Arts and Sciences, Tufts University, Medford, MA.

Research in the Yelick Lab focuses on studying the molecular signaling cascades regulating the processes of mineralized tissue – craniofacial, skeletal, tooth - development, homeostasis, disease and regeneration.  Craniofacial and skeletal diseases can be quite serious and debilitating.  A better understanding of the genetic basis of these diseases, as well as their progression, can lead to new and more effective therapies for affected individuals. 

Dr. Yelick holds extensive published expertise in basic research pertaining to craniofacial development and regeneration using the zebrafish and mouse models, and in clinically relevant dental tissue engineering research models, using three-dimensional dental cell-seeded scaffolds implanted into rat and pig models, for eventual applications in dental tissue and whole tooth regeneration. Dr. Yelick has received NIH funding since 1990 and recently received AFIRM 2 R01 and NIH/NIDCR R21 awards.

Dr. Yelick is a reviewer for numerous journals, including: Archives of Oral Biology, Biomaterials, BMC Developmental Biology, Calcified Tissue International, Development, Developmental Biology, Developmental Dynamics, European Journal of Oral Sciences, Experimental Cell Research, FASEB Journal, Oncogene, PLoS, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Science, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Journal of Dental Research, Journal of Pathology, Mechanisms of Development, Nature, PNAS, Science and Tissue Engineering.

She was a permanent member of the NIH Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering Study Section, an ad hoc reviewer for many NIH Study Sections including ODCS, SBDD and Special Emphasis NIH Study Section Panels, and also serves as a reviewer for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and NSF. She recently served a 3 year elected term as Treasurer of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR). Dr. Yelick also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society-Americas (TERMIS-AM) and TERMIS-European Union (TERMIS-EU), and TERMIS-Asia Pacific (TERMIS-AP).

Dr. Yelick is an internationally recognized leader in dental tissue engineering and craniofacial development, with over 80 peer-reviewed basic research publications, more than a dozen reviews, and over 200 abstracts since the year 2000. She has received national and international acclaim for her research on dental tissue and whole tooth tissue engineering, and has participated in over 200 Invited Speaker Lectureships.

She has extensive teaching experience, and to date has mentored 23 Postdoctoral Fellows, 7 Graduate Students, 33 Research Technicians, 32 Dental Students, and numerous High School and undergraduate students. Her laboratory regularly hosts International Visiting Scientists to pursue cutting-edge research.

Members of the Division of Craniofacial and Molecular Genetics


Ms. Quan Diep


Dr. Weibo Zhang, DMD, PhD

Dr. Elizabeth Smith, PhD

Sara Rudolph, BA

Dr. Mohammed Barashi, DMD, MA, Orthodontics 2018

Alex Cintolo, BA

Alen Blagajcevic, D’21

Rebecca Fisher, D’21

Alicia Kim, D’21

Formers Yelick Lab Members:

2014-2018       Melissa LaBonty, PhD 2018 Sackler School of Biomedical Sciences

2015-2018       Nelson Monteiro, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Email or call 617 636-2430 for more information.