New York University College of Dentistry’s (NYUCD) Juhee Jeong, PhD, an assistant professor of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology, will be awarded the American Association of Anatomists’ (AAA) 2013 Keith and Marion Moore Young Anatomist’s Publication Award (YAPA) at the annual AAA Awards Banquet, Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Boston. The YAPA was created to recognize the best publication by a young anatomist in one of the society's journals—The Anatomical Record, Anatomical Sciences Education or Developmental Dynamics.
Jeong was selected for the 2013 YAPA for her paper, “Cleft Palate Defect of Dlx1/2-/- Mutant Mice Is Caused by Lack of Vertical Outgrowth in the Posterior Palate,” published in Developmental Dynamics (September 2012).
“The strength of the paper lies in its thorough analysis,” Jeong commented. “We found novel connections between the Dlx genes and many other genes that had been known to be important for palate formation.”
Jeong and her team investigated the etiology underlying cleft palate of mouse mutants in which Dlx1 and Dlx2 genes were inactivated. They found that the posterior palate failed to grow in these mutants from the onset of palatogenesis. Additionally, cell proliferation rate and Cyclin D1 expression were reduced in the mutant posterior palate, and the expression of multiple known regulators of palatogenesis was affected in the mutants. The team concluded that Dlx1 and Dlx2 are crucial for early stages of palatogenesis.
Jeong is a developmental biologist at NYUCD, striving to understand the mechanisms by which cells acquire positional identity within embryonic tissue and thereby develop into a specific part of an organ. In particular, she is investigating the molecular genetic mechanisms behind craniofacial morphogenesis with emphasis on transcriptional regulation. Her laboratory utilizes multidisciplinary approaches including mouse genetics, genomics, biochemistry and molecular biology.
This work was funded in part by a grant from NIH (NIDCR K99/R00 DE019486) to Jeong.