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John Starbuck

John Starbuck

Ph.D. Graduate, Spring 2012

Curriculum Vitae

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Dr. Starbuck is currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow working under Dr. Katherine Kula in the Department of Orthodontics and Oral Facial Genetics at the IU School of Dentistry. Dr. Starbuck’s current research explores morphological variation in genetic and developmental conditions that affect the face (e.g. Down syndrome, Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate, Hemifacial Microsomia) using populations of humans and genetically engineered animal models. Additionally, Dr. Starbuck is involved in a new project with the aim of developing a novel computerized approach to forensic facial reconstruction.


Dr. Starbuck’s dissertation research explored morphological variation in facial structure of individuals with trisomy 21, their siblings, and typically developing sibling pairs using three-dimensional facial surface images and geometric morphometric analyses. Dr. Starbuck planned and organized over 20 fieldwork excursions taking the 3dMD camera system to elementary schools, an International Mosaic Down Syndrome Conference, and several National Down Syndrome Congresses across the United States, ultimately enrolling over 700 individuals into his dissertation study. Dr. Starbuck also explored craniofacial morphological variation in a relatively new mouse model for Down syndrome (Dp(16)1Yey) and normal littermates using high resolution micro-computed tomography scans. During Dr. Starbuck’s tenure as a graduate student, he was awarded numerous grants and fellowships including an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.

Dissertation Chair(s)

Joan Richtsmeier