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Joy M. Richman

DMD, MDentSci, PhD, Cert. Ped. Dent.
Director, Pediatric Dentistry Graduate Program
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Rm: Life Sciences Institute 3.452
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Tel: 604-822-3568
Fax: 604-822-2316

Rm: 3.420, Life Sciences Institute
Tel: 604-822-0749
Fax: 604-822-2316

Research Areas:

Craniofacial development, cleft lip and palate, tooth development, reptile tooth replacement, developmental biology

Teaching Areas:

Embryology, Pediatric Dentistry, Graduate level Developmental Biology and Craniofacial Development

I began my training first as a dentist, then as a specialist in pediatric dentistry. The project I started during my specialty training was on tooth development and it paved the way for my current research interest in craniofacial development. My research is focused on: 1) the molecular and environmental factors that can cause facial deformities such as cleft lip with or without cleft palate 2) The molecular basis for specifying jaw identity and 3) the control of tooth replacement in polyphyodont animals. The main model organism I study is the chicken embryo since it is one of the few animals in which the face can be accessed directly. We are studying all stages of face development, from the time the cells that will make the face are first formed until the skeleton differentiates. Trainees become skilled at classical embryo surgeries and molecular biology techniques. More recently I have been fortunate to work on reptiles including snakes, lizards and turtles. This new line of research, especially the work on tooth replacement, directly feeds into my clinical training in Pediatric Dentistry. The reptile work is providing a much broader evolutionary perspective on the origins of the face and teeth. The Richman lab is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and National Sciences and Engineering Council. I welcome applications from potential PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows with a background in developmental biology, genetics, biochemistry or cell biology.