Dr. Yang Chai is a Professor and the George and MaryLou Boone Chair in Craniofacial Biology at the University of Southern California (USC). He serves as Director of the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology and Associate Dean of Research at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. He is most noted for his research on molecular regulation of cranial neural crest cells during craniofacial development and malformations. His laboratory developed multiple genetically engineered mouse models to investigate how craniofacial organs such as the tooth, palate, mandible, maxilla, tongue and calvaria are formed, and how tissue-tissue interactions control patterning and morphogenesis. Most importantly, his research interest has always been focused on linking animal models with human birth defects. His research has led to the successful rescue of craniofacial malformations by manipulating signaling pathways during embryogenesis.
Dr. Chai authored more than 140 scientific papers and numerous book chapters, and recently edited a book on craniofacial development. His work has earned him multiple awards, including the 2011 IADR Distinguished Scientist Award. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has also served on the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institute of Health (NIH) and is currently serving on the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council for the NIDCR, NIH. Dr. Chai earned a DMD degree from Peking University School of Stomatology and a DDS and PhD in Craniofacial Biology from USC.
10:40 am–11:20 am 24 July (Europe - London)