Molecular genetics of development with focus on cranio-facial structures and the immune system.
We research the genes important for giving early signals to embryonic tissues during development to differentiate into structures in the cranio-facial area comprising oral mucosa, salivary glands, teeth, bones, joints, tonsils, bone marrow and neural tissue. We also investigate genes that may predispose to various diseases of immunologic and/or inflammatory character, and can lead to development of chronic diseases or cancer later on in life of an individual.
We use case (disease) - control studies to determine frequencies of markers in genetic areas that have been selected by educated guess or linked to cranio-facial area by microchip expression profiling.
We have recently investigated predisposing genetic factors in tuberculosis, breast and colon cancer as well as primary osteoarthritis of large joints including temporo-mandibulary joint. Genes of interest comprise various cytokine family members like interferon-gamma and interleukin-1, and Toll-like receptor families 1,2,3,4,6,7, and 9, which are important for the early activation of the specific (adaptive) immune responses.