Current Research

Craniofacial Features Normative Database


Advancing our understanding of craniofacial disorders

A team of Seattle Children's investigators, led by Dr. Carrie Heike, is building the Craniofacial Features Normative Database (CFND) to identify which genes contribute to variations in facial features.

To accomplish this, we are using advanced, 3-D photography to capture images of thousands of study volunteers who don't have craniofacial conditions. These images help us quantify normal facial features, providing a valuable baseline for investigating craniofacial conditions.

The CFND data will initially be used to identify how craniofacial features are affected by 22q11.2-related disorders, a genetic disorder that can cause a child to be born with a cleft lip and other health problems. Ultimately, we hope to use the data to advance our understanding of many other craniofacial conditions, a key step toward improving how we diagnose and treat these disorders.

CFND goals and inclusion criteria

The CFND study was initiated in 2006. Our CFND research team and a subset of the participants in the CFND also participate in the FaceBase study, a national study with similar goals.

Primary aim 1  

To characterize the distribution of quantifiable craniofacial characteristics in individuals without known conditions affecting craniofacial features.

Primary aim 2  

To use this repository to characterize the craniofacial variation in conditions that affect craniofacial features.

Secondary aim  

To explore the use of shape descriptors applied to 3-D images to characterize typical and atypical facial features.

Inclusion criteria  

  • Age 3 to 40
  • No condition known to affect craniofacial features
  • No prior significant injury or surgery affecting facial features