Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The head is anatomically the most sophisticated part of the body and its evolution was fundamental to the origin of vertebrates; understanding its development is a formidable problem in biology. A synthesis of embryology, evolution and mouse genetics is shaping our understanding of head development and in this review we discuss its application to studies of human craniofacial malformations. Many of these disorders have their origins in specific embryological processes, including abnormalities of brain patterning, of the migration and fusion of tissues in the face, and of bone differentiation in the skull vault.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Genet

Publication Date





458 - 468


Animals, Biological Evolution, Embryonic and Fetal Development, Face, Gene Targeting, Humans, Mice, Mutation, Skull