The rapid technological development of the past decade has enabled scientists to generate more data than ever before.
At the same time, increased calls for transparency, reproducibility and data sharing within the scientific community have made it increasingly important to store data for posterity – and to serve as a springboard for future discoveries. .
Enter the USC FaceBase Consortium, a data sharing community specially designed for craniofacial and dental researchers, supported by the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Since 2014, a team of scientists from USC has been responsible for developing the FaceBase Hub and keeping the data provided to the repository.
These efforts are led by Professor Carl Kesselman, William M. Keck Chair at USC Viterbi School of Engineering and Director of the Computer Systems Research Division at the Institute of Information Sciences (ISI) of USC; and Yang Chai, PhD ’91, DDS ’96, university professor, associate dean of research at USC Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry and director of the Center of Craniofacial and Molecular Biology.
In November 2021, FaceBase marked a major milestone: the 1000th dataset made public through the repository. Fittingly, given USC’s leading role in the consortium, Data Set # 1000 represents an effort led by Gage Crump, Professor of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM. Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. Postdoctoral fellow Peter Fabian, graduate student Kuo-Chang Tseng and collaborator Steve Twigg (University of Oxford) contributed to the project, which analyzed cell transcriptomes from developing mouse cranial sutures.
Understanding cranial sutures at the cellular level is crucial to understanding the etiology of craniosynostosis (premature fusion of sutures), a birth defect that can occur on its own or as part of many genetic syndromes.
As FaceBase expands beyond the first thousand datasets, its ability to transform the study of craniofacial and dental development will continue to grow, leading to new scientific discoveries and ultimately improved care for patients with birth defects and developmental disorders affecting the craniofacial region.
Posted on December 1, 2021
Last updated on December 1, 2021