Honduras has among the highest incidence of cleft lip and cleft palate in the world. Each year, hundreds of children are born with this problem, and our foundation is dedicated to their surgical and medical care. Cleft lip and cleft palate can be related to nutritional issues, and potentially has a genetic basis as well, although this is not yet well-defined.

The Honduran Medical Institute has embarked on a research effort to elucidate the genetic basis of non-syndromic cleft lip and cleft palate in the Honduran population. In collaboration with the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship at Columbia University, a study is being done on families with more than one affected member. The research study is coordinated by Dr. Joseph Haddad Jr., in collaboration with a molecular biologist, Dr. Gloria Su, and an epidemiologist, Dr. Joseph Lee. The current Columbia University Student Fellows are David Kent and Yuna Larrabee; previous Fellows were Dr. Gillian Diercks, Dr. Tom Karnezis and Dr. Brian Reilly.

Click here to read more about the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship.