Current Research

Craniofacial Microsomia: Longitudinal Outcomes for Children Pre-Kindergarten


Drs. Carrie Heike and Matthew Speltz have designed a research project to learn more about infants and young children with craniofacial microsomia (CFM). The CLOCK team is looking at the association between facial asymmetry and neurodevelopmental outcomes (e.g., cognitive, motor and language skills), as well as hearing loss and neurodevelopmental and social communication outcomes. They want to identify children with CFM who may benefit from early intervention services and to ultimately help parents find appropriate services for children with this condition.

CLOCK is a National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)–funded study, R01 DE022438, and is part of the Facial Asymmetry Collaborative for Interdisciplinary Assessment and Learning (FACIAL) network.

If you have an infant with craniofacial microsomia who is younger than 12 months of age, we invite you to learn about volunteering to participate in this research. For more details about the study, see a description on

The CLOCK research team includes members from the following institutions:

  • Recruitment Sites
    • Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
    • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    • Seattle Children’s Hospital (coordinating center)
    • Shriners Hospitals for Children, Chicago
    • University of Illinois at Chicago
    • University of North Carolina
  • Collaborative Institutions
    • New York University
    • University of Pittsburgh
    • University of Washington

Current Study Goals

  • Recruit 125 infants with CFM, along with their parents and unrelated controls
  • Compare the neurodevelopment and behavior of infants with CFM with the neurodevelopment and behavior of children without CFM. Understand the impact of hearing loss on these children. We will:
    • Ask families to participate at three time points (when their child is 12 months old, 24 months old and 36 months old)
    • Assess children using standardized tests of problem-solving, memory, language, and motor abilities
    • Ask parents questions about each child’s medical, surgical, and family history
    • Collect information on each child’s phenotype

Next Steps

  • Develop and test early interventions to optimize the development and social behavior of children with craniofacial microsomia.