Martine Dunnwald

Research Assistant Professor

Martine Dunnwald received her PharmD degree from Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France and her PhD from Laval University in Québec City, Canada where she studied tissue engineered skin and hair follicle stem cells. She went to the University of Washington, Seattle for her post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Dale to study the genetics of Harlequin ichthyosis, than came to Iowa to work with Dr. Bickenbach on epidermal stem cells. 
Her involvement in craniofacial research started with her collaboration with Brian Schutte, who had generated the knockout mouse for Interferon Regulatory Factor 6 (IRF6). Mutations in IRF6 lead to craniofacial syndromes (Van der Woude and Popliteal Pterygium). The mouse knockout exhibit craniofacial anomalies, but also major epidermal defects. Interestingly, patients with Van der Woude syndrome have increased likelihood of wound healing complications following surgical cleft repair, suggesting that IRF6 is not only involved in craniofacial development, but also in epidermal differentiation and wound healing.
Her current research involves the understanding of the role of IRF6 in keratinocyte migration and cutaneous tissue repair. She combines in vitro mouse keratinocyte tissue culture with in vivo animal model of wound healing to address these questions. 
Additionally, she is exploring the contribution of genetics to wound healing outcome in patient with cleft taking advantage of a novel digital imaging analysis system that allows a better phenotypic characterization of the wound.

Martine Dunnwald
Contact Information
1-532 BSB