May 15, 2018

ralph marcucio

Dear Members and Friends of SCGDB,

I am very happy to write this newsletter as the President of the Society of Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology (SCGDB). The mission of the SCGDB is to promote education, research, and communication about normal and abnormal development of the tissues and organs of the head. We achieve this as a group at our annual meeting. In this letter I will summarize our activities over the past year, share plans for the annual meeting, and provide a vision for the future of the society.

2018 Annual Meeting

I would like to extend an official invitation to attend the 41st annual meeting of the Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology. This meeting will be held immediately prior to the meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in San Diego, Ca this autumn.  Dr. Marilyn Jones (University of California, San Diego) is graciously and tirelessly acting as our local organizer to help plan an outstanding meeting.

Meeting Details:

The meeting will be held on October 16, 2018.  We will gather at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine.  We will feature three plenary sessions (Drs. Jennifer Cobb (University of Calgary), Paul Trainor (Stowers Institute), and Stephen Twigg (University of Oxford), a workshop on the impact of clinical genetics and patient care (Drs. Marilyn Jones (University of California, San Diego) and Ophir Klein (University of California, San Francisco)), a discussion of key milestones in neural crest biology (Dr. Drew Noden, Cornell University), and a key note address by Alysson Muotri (University of California, San Diego). Other talks will be selected from abstracts and a poster session will end the evening.

Importantly, at this years annual meeting we will hold elections for Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. I would like to encourage all of you to become further engaged in the society by nominating yourself or someone else to assume one of these leadership roles. Nominations can be emailed to me at

Details about meeting registration and abstract submission can be found at ( This site as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages will also be updated to contain program information as it becomes available.

Communication and News

This years meeting will feature a business meeting at which we will elect a new Secretary, Treasurer, and Vice President. Please consider nominating yourself or others that you think would benefit the society.

2017 Annual Meeting

The 40th Annual Meeting of the SCGDB was held immediately prior to the annual meeting of the Society for Developmental Biology on July 12th at the Weisman Art Museum on the campus of the University of Minnesota and on July 13th the at the Hyatt Regency in conjunction with the SDB meeting. We would like to once again thank Dr. Laura Gammill for helping to organize this event, and Jeff Barcus and Callie Gustafson for helping with on site logistics!

The meeting began with a plenary session sponsored by the journal Developmental Dynamics. This session focused on signaling and development, and featured the SDB Edwin G. Conklin Medal Winner, Dr. Philippe Soriano from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Additional talks were selected from submitted abstracts. This was followed by a poster reception in the Weisman Art Museum.

The following day was comprised of a series of plenary sessions focused on development, evolution, and disease of the craniofacial complex. Featured member speakers included: Drs. Craig Albertson (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Clare Baker (University of Cambridge), Brian Schutte (Michigan State University), and Licia Selleri (University of California, San Francisco), as well as talks from selected abstracts.

The day ended with award presentations. Generous support for our poster session and student/trainee and postdoctoral scientist/resident awards was provided by the American Association of Anatomists and genesis; Journal of Genetics and Development. Awards for postdoctoral scientists and residents went to Lindsey Barske (first; Crump Lab, USC), Kristin Watt (second; Trainor Lab, Stowers Institute), and Joanna Smeeton (third; Crump Lab, USC). Students/trainee awards were presented to Camilla Teng (first; Crump Lab, USC), Bonnie Kircher (second; Cohn Lab, University of Florida), and Brian Paul (third; Dunnwald Lab, University of Iowa). Honorable mentions went to Kaylia Duncan, (Cornell Lab, University of Iowa), Everett G. Hall, (Saadi Lab, University of Kansas), and Sofia Pezoa, (Niswander Lab, University of Colorado). You can find the 2017 student and post-doctoral award winners, as well as former winners listed on the Past Annual Meetings page of the SCGDB website ( and also on our FaceBook ( and Twitter ( pages. Congratulations to the winners for their outstanding presentations and thank you to everyone who attended our exciting annual meeting.

The complete proceedings of the 2017 meeting were published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics (Gammill et al., 2018)

The Future

Finally, we will continue to support junior scientists in the craniofacial community, and we encourage all of you to take active roles in the function of our society.

We try to balance selected talks among junior and senior members of the society to provide opportunities for our colleagues at all career stages to present their research. I encourage all of you to engage in our society by attending the annual meeting, presenting your work, and spreading word about our society to your colleagues, basic scientists, and clinicians.

Information and news about SCGDB, its members and upcoming events can be found on our website ( and FaceBook ( and Twitter ( pages. We would like to highlight everyone’s achievements. So, if you publish an exciting paper, issue a press release, receive an award, or are profiled in an article, please let us know so we can share the good news and keep our members up to date.


Ralph Marcucio, PhD
President, Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology
Professor, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA