Meet the team: Craniofacial Research Group

Partnership and collaboration are at the heart of the vision for the Zayed Centre for Research by bringing together the collective expertise of GOSH and ICH. Together we are in a unique position to bring the discoveries made in the laboratory to the patients we see – and other children across the world. 

Meet some of the teams who will be at the heart of the Zayed Centre for Research.

Craniofacial Research Group

What is the official name of your team?

Facevalue – Craniofacial research group.

What does your team do?

We are a team of clinicians, engineers and computer scientists based at UCL GOS Institute of Child Health & Great Ormond Street Hospital. Our overall objective is to develop novel techniques and devices to improve outcome and safety in craniofacial surgery for children born with conditions affecting their head and/or face.

How do you do it?

We focus on craniofacial morphology by combining 3D imaging techniques and statistical shape modelling to predict the outcome of craniofacial surgery procedures; craniofacial biomechanics to characterise the bone and skin response to surgical treatments; device design to deliver improved minimally invasive treatments.

What does a typical day in your team look like?

In a typical day we collect data from patients who underwent surgery, we perform 3D image processing by means of computer aided design techniques and use the information for producing predictive tools (based on either statistical shape modelling or finite element analysis) for the outcome of craniofacial procedures.

For the experimental projects, we attend surgical theatres to collect bone specimens and take measurements related to the performance of the devices used in patients by the surgical team. We use 3D printing of patient anatomies and help the craniofacial team plan complex surgeries. 

What is your team’s biggest achievement?

Our group has collected over 10,000 face 3D scans from the general public during an event held at the Science Museum. Using this large database and in collaboration with Imperial College London, a large scale 3D morphable model (Large Scale Face Model – LSFM) was created, describing facial shape and feature variations throughout the population. LSFM is a UCL freely available tool for research purposes.

Tell us something unique about your team?

We have hosted more than 30 exchange students from several EU Institutions (Rotterdam Erasmus Medical School, ESCUELA POLITÉCNICA SUPERIOR DE MONDRAGON, Leiden University Medical School) and we are still in contact with all of them!

Every other year, the team attends the International Society of Craniofacial Surgery conference, with more than 20 abstracts presented each time!

How do you think your team will benefit from being part of the Zayed Centre for Research?

Our team will benefit from the state-of-the-art equipment and extensive laboratory space, as well as the close interaction with other research groups to build new bridges and start new collaborations.