UK College of Dentistry Introduces Craniofacial Genetics Externship

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 28, 2016) – The University of Kentucky College of Dentistry has expanded its continuing education options to include a flexible, one month to one year, externship in craniofacial genetics. This opportunity is designed to benefit individuals interested in expanding their understanding of clinical craniofacial genetics, and its application to clinical care and research, as well as faculty seeking a sabbatical experience.

The externship emphasizes clinical craniofacial, oral and dental genetics; and how molecular genetics can be applied to the diagnosis and study of these conditions. Participants will gain experiences in a broad range of topics in clinical craniofacial genetics, including craniofacial, oral and dental anomalies, disorders and diseases.

Opportunities are available to learn how to evaluate patients for diagnosis, clinical testing and research studies in the Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs Cleft Lip & Palate/Craniofacial Anomalies Clinics, the Delta Dental Research Clinic and the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases Hereditary Genetics/Genomics Core within the College of Dentistry; as well as observation rotations in the College of Medicine with Dr. Stephen Amato, director of the Division of Genetics and Metabolism; and Dr. Sivakumaran Theru Arumugam, director of the Clinical Molecular and Genomic Pathology Laboratory in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

“In this time, when precision medicine is on the rise and fast-paced technology breakthroughs are enabling the discovery of key genetic components in normal development and disease, dental professionals often lack good educational resources for the genetic conditions affecting their patients, and/or they lack the know-how of when or to whom to refer their patients for a clinical genetics evaluation, testing, and follow-up,” said Dr. James Hartsfield, a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics, Craniofacial Genetics Externship Director and UK College of Dentistry E. Preston Hicks Endowed Professor in Orthodontics and Oral Health Research. “Our externship aims to target these needs so that dental professionals can offer the best overall care to their patients; and current or future academic professionals can acquire the knowledge in this field to teach future practitioners.”

Participation may be tailored to fit an individual’s background in clinical and basic genetics, area of particular interest and overall length of participation time. Completion of the externship results in a continuing education certificate in Craniofacial Genetics from the University of Kentucky.

For more information on the College of Dentistry’s Craniofacial Genetics externship, visit or contact Dr. James Hartsfield at

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