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About | FaceBase

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Our goal is to make FaceBase the trusted primary data resource for craniofacial researchers worldwide in service of their basic and clinical research needs.

FaceBase is a collaborative NIDCR-funded project that houses comprehensive data in support of advancing research into craniofacial development and malformation. It serves as a community resource by curating large datasets of a variety of types from the craniofacial research community and sharing them via this website. Practices emphasize a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to understanding the developmental processes that create the face. The data offered spotlights high-throughput genetic, molecular, biological, imaging and computational techniques. One of the missions of this project is to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between the central coordinating center (ie, the Hub) and the craniofacial research community.

Group photo of FaceBase 3 Hub with NIDCR Program Staff taken at the 2023 Annual Meeting at University of Southern California
Members of FaceBase 3 Hub with NIDCR Program Staff taken at the 2023 Annual Meeting at University of Southern California:
Back row: Joe Hacia (USC), Rob Schuler (ISI/USC), Yang Chai (USC), Alejandro Bugacov (ISI/USC); Front row: Noffisat Oki (NIDCR), Alicia Chou (NIDCR), Linda Hattemer (USC), Laura Pearlman (ISI/USC), Lu Wang (NIDCR), Cris Williams (ISI/USC), Carl Kesselman (ISI/USC), VyVy Nguyen (USC), Jifan Feng (USC), Thach-Vu Ho (USC)

Overarching Aims

Although about half of all birth defects involve the face and skull, scientists remain unclear about why most occur. To help families at risk for these conditions, what's needed is a comprehensive and systematic understanding of how the faces of healthy children develop and what goes awry to cause common malformations. With today's improved technologies, researchers can generate megabytes (even gigabytes) of information in a single experiment on hundreds of genes that are involved in the process. The challenge now is to learn how best to integrate this information into a meaningful whole, while adding new data to form a more comprehensive picture of this complex developmental process.

FaceBase has become a key factor in making this wealth of information more manageable and useable for on-the-ground scientists, clinicians and surgeons. Over the previous years, the data accumulated has evolved into an important knowledgebase that helps further exploration and analysis of data. We are working to improve this resource and make it as useful as possible by following a three-pronged approach:

  1. Use F.A.I.R. principles for best practices in sharing and re-use of data for the craniofacial research community: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable.
  2. Promote and enable data contributions to FaceBase by NIDCR-supported researchers.
  3. Foster a community of active FaceBase users through outreach activities and dissemination of new features and available datasets.

You can view our list of current data priorities here. And if you have data that you think would be useful to our community, please see details for contributing your data to FaceBase here.


FaceBase Data Hub Staff

The members of the current FaceBase Hub are:

FaceBase Scientific Advisory Group

The Hub has access to a panel of community members - some who served as spoke labs in previous versions of FaceBase and others who are respected voices in craniofacial research - who meet regularly to review the progress of data repository evolution.

NIDCR Program Staff

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is the Nation's leading funder of research on oral, dental, and craniofacial health.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit .

NIDCR/NIH Leadership and Program Staff

FaceBase External Scientific Panel

The NIDCR staff consults with a distinguished panel of scientists for high level guidance on data priorities and the progress and direction of FaceBase. They are: