Our Research

Our goal is to improve lives through the creation and advancement of new knowledge in the field of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Research Programs in the Department of Orthodontics

The Frazier-Bowers research lab is interested in understanding the genetic basis of craniofacial anomalies relevant to the field of orthodontics. Specific areas include 1) investigating the genetic basis of dentofacial variation in the skeletal Class III dentofacial phenotype; 2) tooth agenesis (congenitally missing teeth) and 3) primary failure of eruption (PFE). Current efforts focus on gene discovery and phenotype dissection of dentofacial variation using 1) 2 /3 dimensional methods for rigorous clinical characterization, 2) genotyping and linkage analysis and 3) mutational analysis using the candidate gene approach. This translational research inspires a paradigm shift in orthodontics from “how to move teeth to how teeth move.”

Dr. Ko’s laboratory has focused on bone regeneration using biomaterials and biomechanical approaches. The on-going project is to investigate distraction osteogenesis with synergistic effects of the parathyroid hormone. Nano-biomaterials are also synthesized in this lab and its scaffolds are under development for stem cell-mediated bone regeneration.

The Phillips laboratory focuses on biostatistical applications and data management of clinical trials. Dr Philips is also interested in understanding the physiology of masticatory adaptation in normal and post-surgical patients; neurosensory assessment of post-surgical patients; and understanding the genetic predisposition to altered sensation and pain in post-surgical patients. Her laboratory also conducts clinical trials that investigate the impact of vitamin B12 on nerve regeneration.



  1. ResearchGate
  2. Oral Biology PhD Program
  3. NextGen Training Program
  4. NC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute