Janice Lee, D.D.S., M.D., M.S.

Senior Clinician

Craniofacial Anomalies & Regeneration Section


Clinical Director


Building 10, Room 5-2531
10 Center Dr. MSC 1470
Bethesda MD 20892-1470



Research Topics

From bedside to bench and back… translating our science.

The Craniofacial Anomalies and Regeneration Section and my lab focuses on craniofacial and oral anomalies, and disorders that impact human facial development. Our research includes cellular and molecular analyses, animal models, 3D computational analysis and deep clinical phenotyping to develop a greater understanding of the mechanisms that result in the highly variable patient phenotypes of craniofacial disorders, including Loeys-Dietz syndrome (a monogenic disease) and variants of facial development including mandibular prognathism (a complex and polygenic trait). We have a very active clinical craniofacial anomalies and surgical reconstruction team that compliments our work in the lab (the “bench”). With patients as our partners in research, we are able to examine craniofacial and oral conditions in the context of the family unit and use patient data and our laboratory data to direct our efforts in better diagnosis and predicting aberrant facial growth, novel surgical/non-surgical treatment, and some day, prevention to avoid surgery altogether. As a surgeon-scientist at the NIDCR, the lessons learned in surgery and at the “bedside” are critical in our vision to improve patient care, treat and prevent disease through our research.

Often times, these craniofacial anomalies and conditions require extensive surgery and requires removing bone from one part of the body to reconstruct a part of the face. The lab is examining the ability of our bodies to regenerate large-scale bone defects spontaneously and without bone grafts or tissue transfers. By studying this in both humans and mice, we are examining the role of aging and the immune system in bone regeneration that may be induced to reconstruct craniofacial defects.


Dr. Lee earned a D.D.S. and an M.S. from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard University and a two-year research fellowship in NIDCR’s Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch. Before joining NIDCR and NIH, she was professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. She is now the Clinical Director and Chief of the Craniofacial Anomalies and Regeneration Section. In September 2020, she was appointed as Deputy Director for Intramural Clinical Research (DDICR). She has a number of exciting collaborations and studies, including:

Selected Publications

  1. Almpani K, Liberton DK, Jani P, Keyvanfar C, Mishra R, Curry N, Orzechowski P, Frischmeyer-Guerrerio PA, Lee JS. Loeys-Dietz and Shprintzen-Goldberg syndromes: analysis of TGF-β-opathies with craniofacial manifestations using an innovative multimodality method. J Med Genet. 2022;59(10):938-946.
  2. She X, Sun S, Damon BJ, Hill CN, Coombs MC, Wei F, Lecholop MK, Steed MB, Bacro TH, Slate EH, Zheng N, Lee JS, Yao H. Sexual dimorphisms in three-dimensional masticatory muscle attachment morphometry regulates temporomandibular joint mechanics. J Biomech. 2021;126:110623.
  3. Kidwai F, Mui BWH, Arora D, Iqbal K, Hockaday M, de Castro Diaz LF, Cherman N, Martin D, Myneni VD, Ahmad M, Futrega K, Ali S, Merling RK, Kaufman DS, Lee J, Robey PG. Lineage-specific differentiation of osteogenic progenitors from pluripotent stem cells reveals the FGF1-RUNX2 association in neural crest-derived osteoprogenitors. Stem Cells. 2020;38(9):1107-1123.
  4. Mui BWH, Arora D, Mallon BS, Martinez AF, Lee JS, Muenke M, Kruszka P, Kidwai FK, Robey PG. Generation of human induced pluripotent stem cell line (NIDCRi001-A) from a Muenke syndrome patient with an FGFR3 p.Pro250Arg mutation. Stem Cell Res. 2020;46:101823.
  5. PorrasPerez AR, Keating R, Lee J, Linguraru MG. Predictive Statistical Model of Early Cranial Development. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2022;69(2):537-546.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Tuesday, November 14, 2023