The Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (NDOG) is pleased to announce that Professor Peter Hammond, a world leader in the analysis of facial dysmorphism in rare genetic syndromes, has joined the department.
Peter’s research focuses on facial development and growth in teratogenic and genetic conditions where the detection of atypical face shape is an important part of diagnosis. There are more than 700 genetic syndromes with facial traits, many of which are extremely difficult to spot because of rarity or subtlety of associated features. Face shape differences also arise from fetal exposure to alcohol and anticonvulsants. Over the last fifteen years, Peter’s lab, at University College London, pioneered sophisticated methods for computational analysis of abnormal craniofacial growth and development in humans and in animal models. More than 10,000 3D photographic images covering healthy individuals and over 50 rare conditions were collected, often through overseas travel to visit collaborators and recruit families affected. Through comparison with sets of faces with a known genetic disorder, candidate diagnoses can be suggested for an individual with an unknown condition. It is also possible to help identify genes causing specific facial characteristics by analysing differences between the faces of individuals with subtle variants of the same genetic anomaly. Peter will now work in collaboration with Professor Alison Noble (Institute of Biomedical Engineering) and with the INTERGROWTH 21st Project to extend the analytical techniques to 3D ultrasonography of fetal faces.
Peter is enormously experienced and we look forward to the knowledge and expertise he will contribute to the department.