Welcome to the Luquetti Lab
The Luquetti lab studies the genetics and epidemiology of craniofacial malformations, with the goal of identifying those malformations’ causes and developing research methods that can be used to study a wide variety of birth defects.
Investigating microtia’s causes
The lab’s current research investigates the causes of microtia, a birth defect that causes the ear to be underdeveloped or, in severe cases, missing entirely. This condition causes hearing loss in more than 90% of cases and often requires reconstructive surgery.
The Luquetti lab is studying microtia in South America’s Andean region, where the condition appears to be far more prevalent than in other regions of the world. Working closely with collaborators in the region, the lab will use extensive phenotypic characterization, exome sequencing and other advanced methods to search for genetic mutations that might contribute to microtia. The lab is also investigating whether environmental factors, such as diet or living at high altitude, play a role.
The lab’s long-term goals are to advance our understanding of microtia and develop research methods that help unravel other birth defects that result from a complicated mix of genetic and environmental factors.
Collaborating to understand craniofacial malformations
The Luquetti lab’s work extends beyond microtia. As a contributor to the Craniofacial Outcomes Research and Epidemiology Group (CORE), the lab works closely with other researchers in Seattle Children’s Craniofacial Center, helping design and conduct studies aimed at improving our understanding of craniofacial microsomia and other malformations.
Daniela V. Luquetti, MD, PhD, is an acting assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She completed her medical geneticist training in 2005 and her PhD in public health in 2009.
Dr. Luquetti has a broad background in medical genetics and epidemiology, with specific training and experience in birth defects. As a doctoral student, she conducted birth defects surveillance research and secondary data analysis on epidemiological aspects of birth defects. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Division of Craniofacial Medicine at the University of Washington, she has expanded her research to include the assessment of genetic sequence variation as well as other potential genetic causes of birth defects.
Email Daniela Luquetti, MD, PhD.