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Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology

Chair: Nicola C. Partridge, PhD
Professor, Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology

Associate Chair: Eric Baker, M.Phil
Adjunct Associate Professor, Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology


The Department of Basic Science is one of the largest departments in the College, established by the fusion of six separate departments under one chair. NYUCD is one of a handful of private dental schools with its own basic science faculty. The faculty participates in all aspects of the college life: education, scholarly activity, research, and service. In addition, they teach in all programs of the College: graduate, postgraduate, and allied health. Members of the department are nationally and internationally renowned scientists, educators, and academic leaders.



Research includes the study of primate bone and dental microstructural correlates of organismal life history and chronobiological rhythms, comparative bone microanatomy of extant primates for the use of interpreting life history and locomotion in fossil species, and primate behavioral ecology and cognition.

Department of Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology Faculty involved in biological anthropology research include:

Research includes the study of fundamental mechanisms of apoptosis and programmed cell death, prostate cancer metastasis to bone, and studying premalignant to malignant cell transformation using human oral epithelial cells. The latter includes research on mutagenesis in lacZ mice, investigations of tobacco use and oral cancer, and the role of bacteria and inflammation in oral cancer.

Department of Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology Faculty involved in cancer research include:

Research projects include the study of structure of proteins involved in mineralization, scanning EM structure of teeth and bone, endocrine regulation of bones and cartilage, and transcriptional regulation of the cells and genes in bone and cartilage. Members of the department have close collaborations with the bone and cartilage research group in Biomaterials at NYU College of Dentistry and also with the NYU School of Medicine.

Faculty involved in craniofacial & bone biology research include:

Center for Skeletal and Craniofacial Biology (CSCB)

The Center was established to enhance and coordinate the efforts of NYU clinicians, scientists and clinician scientists who work in different aspects of craniofacial and musculoskeletal biology with the ultimate goal to develop novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of craniofacial disorders and musculoskeletal diseases. The mission of the Center is to raise the tempo of research into diseases which affect craniofacial development and the skeleton leading to new knowledge, resulting in improving and new treatments for these diseases. Learn more about CSCB >>>

The work in tissue engineering focuses on muscle, cartilage and hard tissue with the long-range goal of developing artificial tissues that could be used to repair damaged or lost craniofacial tissues.

Department of Basic Science & Craniofacial Biology Faculty involved in physiology research include:

Studies focus on caries and biofilms and the oral aspects of HIV/AIDS. One group of investigators brings expertise ranging from molecular biology of oral pathogens to molecular epidemiology.

Faculty involved in infectious diseases research include:

The HIV/AIDS Research Program (HARP)

HARP investigates the oral manifestation of HIV/AIDS and anti-HIV therapies. This group has NIH funding that brings together the faculty from basic and clinical research at the NYU College of Dentistry, NYU School of Medicine and the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Institute and is generating the only bank of specimens from HIV positive subjects pre- and post HAART treatment. Members of this group also have fundamental research projects on oral-based diagnostics. Learn more about HARP >>>

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The Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology provides foundational knowledge and elective courses in the DDS curriculum. These courses are coded as BASCI-DN.xxxx and are all team taught, sometimes with other departments.

In addition, department faculty also teach in courses for other programs, such as in the post-graduate curriculum, the Dental Hygiene program, and College of Nursing programs.

For a complete course listing, read the DDS Course Inventory 2013-2014

Basic Tissues
Course Coordinator:  Harvey Wishe

Building Blocks of Life
Course Coordinator:  Joseph Guttenplan

Cellular Organelles
Course Coordinator:  Kathleen Kinnally

Craniofacial Biology
Course Coordinator:  Ronald Craig, Harvey Wishe

Head & Neck Anatomy
Course Coordinator:  Eric Baker

Organ Systems
Course Coordinator:  Joel Schiff

Course Coordinator:  Jean-Pierre Saint-Jeannet

Infectious Diseases
Course Coordinator: 
Robert Boylan
Course Coordinator:  Yihong Li
Course Coordinator:  Simone Duarte

Honors in Head & Neck Anatomy
Course Coordinator:
  Elena Cunningham

Honors in Research
Course Coordinator:  Kathleen Kinnally

Honors in Research Summer Intensive
Course Coordinator:  Joseph Guttenplan


Independent Research Program
Course Coordinator:  Kathleen Kinnally