Jeffry Cesario, Ph.D., received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Bucknell University in 2003. During this time, he studied the role of viral tegument of the Cytomegalovirus, a type of herpes virus, in the laboratory Dr. Marie Pizzorno-Simpson. He assisted in the analysis of specific viral proteins to determine their importance during infection of certain cell types. Continuing on from this early research experience, Dr. Cesario obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology from Rutgers University in 2010. For his Ph.D. thesis, he studied the regulation of spindle assembly in mitosis and meiosis using fruit flies as a model system in Dr. Kim McKim's laboratry. His work provided novel insights on the role of a small GTPase Ran during female meiosis. Dr. Cesario then joined the Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology at New York University College of Dentistry as a postdoctoral researcher. In the laboratory of Dr. Juhee Jeong, Dr. Cesario has studied the genetic regulation of mammalian craniofacial development, and the molecular etiology of related birth defects such as cleft palate, tooth agenesis, and craniosynostosis. In particular, he identified a novel genetic pathway downstream of LHX transcription factors that is essential for normal palate development. Dr. Cesario continues his research with Dr. Juhee Jeong, investigating the complex interactions of genetic and environmental factors in the manifestation of craniofacial birth defects.