£11 Million Cleft Lip Research Project to Launch in Bristol

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The largest ever research project into the cleft lip and palate will be launched in Bristol, it has been confirmed.

An £11 million project will be conducted at Bristol University and the research study will involve a gene bank being set up at the university, which will enable researchers to examine the DNA from children with a cleft lip and palate.

Researchers at Bristol University will be focusing on genetics, while a team from Bristol UWE will be examining the psychological impact of having a cleft lip and palate.

A cleft lip and palate is the most common type of congenital abnormality in the world, with a child born with a cleft lip and palate every 3.5 minutes in the UK.

The new gene bank will be located at the Medical Research Council Centre in Clifton. The centre is home to the ‘Children of the 90’s’ project and researchers will follow children with a cleft lip and palate in a similar way.

The project has been funded by The Healing Foundation and the participating universities.

Professor Jonathan Sandy, from Bristol University’s School of Oral and Dental Sciences, said that this project represents the biggest investment in cleft lip and palate research ever and added that the outcome of the project may benefit thousands of parents and children in the future.

Researchers will be looking at information relating to genes and the environment in which children live to find out more about the causes of cleft lip and palate and identifying possible ways of prevention.


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