UK and Ireland Craniofacial Conference

The Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland Annual Scientific Conference,  hosted by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, will be held at The Royal College of Physicians, London, from Thursday 16 April to Friday 17 April, 2015, with a pre-Conference Special Interest Group (SIG) Meeting on Wednesday 15 April 2015.

The conference theme is ‘Moving Forwards Together’ . Particpants from across Europe are warmly invited to attend. Deadline for abstracts is January 25th.
For details go to

Bucharest Cleft Conference

There will be an international multidisciplinary cleft conference taking place in Bucharest, Romania, between 22-24 September 2014. This event is a part of a collaborative project between the “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, the University of Oslo and the “Romania Cleft” Association, financed by EEA Grants. This project’s purpose is to transfer innovative knowledge from the Oslo Cleft Team to the members of UMF “Carol Davila” and further on to all interested professionals involved in cleft care in Romania. A secondary purpose of this meeting is to elaborate guidelines for good medical practice related to cleft treatment and also to present an informative booklet for the parents of cleft children.

The full programme is here: Bucharest conference programme

Costs are as follows:

Participation is free but all delegates coming from abroad will need to pay for their own accommodation and meals as follows:

  • Single Room – 75 Euro/day (breakfast incl) (Residence Hotel Group)
  • Double Room – 85 Euro/day (breakfast incl)
  • Lunch -20 Euro/person/day (2 days)
  • Gala Dinner – 40 Euro/person

All delegates will need to make their own travel arrangements.

For further details contact the conference organiser, Dr Radu Spataru:


Gareth Davies

Executive Director

European Cleft Organisation

EUROCleftNet short visit and exchange programme

(For translations of this article, please see the attached PDF documents: Croatian French Greek Serbian Lithuanian Spanish Bulgarian)

This programme is open to researchers involved in cleft care and prevention and is designed to promote collaborative research in those areas outlined in the EUROCleftNet aims and objectives (below).

ESF Short visit/Exchanges

2 types of grants:

  • Short Visits – up to 15 days,
  • Exchange Visits – from 15 days to 6 months.

Application Procedure for Short Visits

  • o Short description of the proposed RESEARCH project and the aim of the visit (250 words) AND Curriculum Vitae (2 pages)
  • o Address / Contact details of the host
  • o Proposed dates of the visit (Max 15 days)
  • o Estimated travel costs (Max €500)
  • o Accommodation details (Max €85/day)

Reporting guidelines

  • o Payment will not be made until reporting is complete
  • o Within one month of visit
  • o Scientific report, detailing


Description of work done


Future collaboration with host

Any proposed publications 

Priority will be given to members of cleft centres registered on the European Cleft Gateway

Details available from

All applicants must be able to demonstrate that their proposed exchange/short visit falls within the scope of the EUROCleftNet strategy:

Primary objective:

To increase the European capability for cutting edge research aimed at:

(a) improving the quality of care of infants born with cleft lip and palate and

(b) improving knowledge on risk factors (genetic and environmental) with a view to primary prevention.

Steps towards this objective:

  • Development of a strategy for engaging European cleft teams and laboratories in ongoing and new European research collaborations initiative.
  • Involvement of users in research design and development of outcomes measures for orofacial clefts. 
  • Encourage research initiatives that are aimed towards improving minimum standards of cleft care, universal access to care and equality of care.
  • Development of a priority list of questions for patient-centred research in the field of orofacial clefts.

Strategic action points and priorities

  • To create a Directory of Resources to facilitate research.
  • To continue to promote the concept of collaboration between clinicians and geneticists in research (which underpinned the success of Eurocran).
  • To initiate a portfolio of externally funded clinical and genetics research.
  • To engage with a wide range of stakeholders (including beyond Europe) to ensure that this ESF is able to address orofacial clefting holistically and globally.
  • To communicate and disseminate research findings through local, national and international networks

Peter A Mossey (Chairman, Steering Group)

Invitation to apply for EUROCleftNet short visit grants

News update:

  • Bucharest cleft conference
  • Invitation to apply for EUROCleftNet short visit grants

EUROCleftNet is delighted to report the success of an international cleft workshop in Bucharest, Romania,  31 March – 2 April 2014 focusing on improving surgical outcomes by comparing European protocols and featuring  ‘live view’ surgical sessions.  The event, Challenges in the treatment of cleft lip and palate, has been organized by surgeon Radu Spataru, cleft surgeon at the Maria Sklodowska Curie

paediatric hospital in Bucharest, who has invited colleagues from around Europe, many of whom he has remained in contact with after the Bulgaria cleft conference in Plovdiv in September 2013, Completing the circle.  The Bucharest conference includes representatives from cleft teams in Bulgaria, Ukraine, Latvia and Sweden as well as cleft team members from all over Romania.

Speaking at the event EUROCleftNet steering group member and ECO director Gareth Davies emphasized the importance of European collaboration in cleft care and research and highlighted the development of a European cleft guideline in early cleft care which EUROCleftNet members have contributed to.  He also called on those present to ensure their countries are fully represented on the European Cleft Gateway website and encouraged the development of regional networks for sharing and exchange of skills and information.  In this context he promoted the EUROCleftNet short visit and exchange programme which is open to researchers involved in cleft care and prevention.  Funding for this is available only for a limited period and he urged delegates to consider potential applications at the earliest opportunity.  Details are set out below.

A follow-up cleft conference is being organized by cleft surgeon, Calin Popoiu from Timisoara, Romania, in November 2014 and there are plans to invite representatives from neighbouring Balkan countries as well as those from further afield.  Gareth Davies has been asked to assist the in promoting the conference.  In a separate development Mr. Davies has been invited to Lithuania in May 2014 to discuss possible ways of supporting cleft care and treatment in the country.

Priority will be given to members of cleft centres registered on the European Cleft Gateway

Details available from



Opportunities for short visits and exchanges

EUROCleftNet funding is available for funding short visits and exchanges in Europe aimed at

a. Improving the quality of care for children born with clefts

b. Prevention through further research on the genetic and environmental causes

One mechanism we have at our disposal through EuroCleftNet is exchange visits and there is an opportunity in funding to pay for travel, expenses and, for longer visits, a monthly allowance.

This link provides further details.

For further details and to discuss posisble proposals please contact Prof Peter Mossey (  and cc Kelly Urquhart (

EUROCleftNet Research Conference

The Plovdiv Research Conference was a huge success – see write-up under Events section

EUROCleftNet research conference, 25 – 27 September, Bulgaria

The EUROCleftNet research conference website is now online . Register now!

Recent EUROCleftNet events

Tuesday 3rd July 2012:

Life and Brain Centre, University of Bonn, Germany




The research aims and objectives of EUROCleftNet as defined at previous meetings in Strasbourg in June 2011, Salzburg, September 2011 and Manchester, December 2011 encompass 2 major themes: (a) improving access to and quality of care for those born with OFC, and (b) primary prevention of OFC – underpinned by improved knowledge about genetic and environmental factors.


An emerging theme in European research is improvement of links between academia and industry, and through this workshop in Bonn we will discuss development of collaborative research skills and professional experience to fund research, improve healthcare globally and train a future generation of European scientists.


EUROCleftNet Scientific Summary


The research aims and objectives of EUROCleftNet have emerged from a global interest from WHO and the European Cleft Organisation (ECO) among others to address problems in craniofacial anomalies, the most common of which is cleft lip and palate.  Our objectives been defined at previous meetings in Strasbourg in June 2011, Salzburg, September 2011 and Manchester, December 2011, and continue to evolve and develop.


One of the emerging themes in European research is establishment or strengthening of links between academia and industry, and through these the development of research skills and professional experience to (a) provide benefits to the healthcare of people across Europe and beyond (b) develop new therapies for treatment and primary prevention of cleft lip and palate and (c) train a future generation of European scientists.


In a workshop in Salzburg, we identified 3 thematic areas where there may be potential for developing industrial links in orofacial clefting research which were:


  1. Diagnostic
  2. Preventive
  3. Clinical care / management issues


Having identified eligible areas for research, the Bonn workshop aims to invite a range of industrial partners to engage around the table with scientists and research clinicians in EUROCleftNet to explore further areas of mutual interest.


Examples of the specific areas under the 3 themes where there may be scope for collaborative research involving our industrial colleagues will be reflected in the agenda and in summary the presentations will include the following:


  1. Diagnostic:
  • 3D imaging / facial morphology and quantification of facial dysmorphology;
  • Genetics / genomics / micro-arrays aimed at gene discovery;
  • Diagnostic bio-markers and DNA / tissue collection
  • Characterisation of selected candidate genes: expression pattern during development e.g. through mouse, dog and zebrafish models.


  1. Preventive:
  • GEI research in the quest for clues on exposures and modifiable risk factors such as folic acid, alcohol, smoking, medications and recreational drugs;
  • Drug target identification: through the assembly of protein networks for complex diseases may stimulate research into discovery of drugable targets for these conditions;
  • Pharmaceutical firms interested in the development of nutritional e.g. multivitamin supplements used in conjunction with peri-conceptional care;


  1. Management / clinical care:
  • Generating an evidence based practice through randomised control trials; and at Salzburg there was a call for an RCT to study the efficacy of distraction osteogenesis v osteotomy for midface protrusion in adolescents with OFC
  • The use of bone substitute to replace lost alveolar ridge or alveolar bone grafting with or without using stem cell technology;


Format: The format will be a one day exploratory meeting with a series of informative presentations and discussion workshops for the invited delegates from industry to listen, ask questions and interact as they see fit – with a view to the identification of collaborative opportunities. The Steering Group will have a debriefing meeting on the following morning to discuss on-going strategy.


Presentations and discussions: on these as a way of bringing funding to bear on our work and the training of future researchers provide the main focus for this meeting. In addition to inviting the EUROCleftNet Steering Group members, a range of industrial partners have expressed an interest and colleagues within the network who are able to provide an update on state of the art research in particular fields with specific mention of the areas that would be possibly of interest to attending industrial partners.


Grant funding opportunities: among a range of grant funding opportunities is the Marie Curie actions call among which are initial training networks, industry academia partnerships and pathways (IAPP), international research staff exchange schemes (IRSES) plus a range of individual actions such as intra-European fellowships (IEF), international incoming fellowships (IIF) and international outgoing fellowships (IOF).


Marie Curie ITN: It is important also that the invitees have an understanding that this programme is primarily aimed at the training of doctorate students. Further information on the detail of the Marie Curie ITN terms and conditions is available online at the following URL:

and the industrial partners are encouraged to examine the financial implications in advance.


Friday 21st September 2012

Thistle Hotel, Glasgow


Scientific Summary


The primary objective of the Glasgow EUROCleftNet meeting will be to discuss details of collaborative research grant funding applications. The first opportunity to submit a research grant funding application will be through EU Framework 7: Marie Curie ITN (People’s Programme) and a draft application will, by September 2012, already have been circulated among ESF academic partners, potentially interested industrial partners and other researchers and user organisations.


There will however be a need to a need to discuss the detail of eligible projects, the best partnerships, mobility issues, funding issues in terms of financial benefits and matching of projects to the skills and needs of the partners involved.


In addition it will be important to discuss this research grant funding application in the context of the overall aims and objectives of EUROCleftNet and to progress the setting up of a website, directory of resources and EUROCleftNet biobank. The meeting will also address the EUROCleftNet conference which is scheduled for Plovdiv on the 19th – 22nd June 2013. A provisional programme for this meeting has already been prepared and the objective will be to have invitations sent to speakers shortly after the EUROCleftNet Steering Group meeting and also to finalise details of the meeting format, the detailed programme, allocate tasks for the preparations and estimate the overall cost of the programme.


Further discussions on budgetary issues and future planning for the network will also be on the agenda (see attached).




This 4th EUROCleftNet Steering Group meeting will be combined with a detailed discussion of research grant submission to the Framework 7 Marie Curie ITN (People’s Programme). This will include on-going dialogue and interaction with potentially interested industrial partners and will be designed to train a future generation of young researchers in Europe.