Minnesota Craniofacial Research Training (MinnCRest) Program

The Minnesota Craniofacial Research Training (MinnCResT) Program aims to train the next generation of independent investigators exploring questions in craniofacial, oral health and dental research.

Supported by a major grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), the MinnCResT Program scientific and career development programming and full fellowship support for graduate students, DDS/PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows wishing to begin, continue, or expand their research careers. The MinnCResT Program is putting into practice the National Institutes of Health (NIH) road map by forming cross-disciplinary teams of trainees and mentors from such fields as biology, neuroscience, microbiology, genetics, immunology, engineering, psychology, dentistry, medicine, and other disciplines that contribute to its research training mission. The MinnCResT Program seeks the best and the brightest to contribute to cutting-edge craniofacial, dental and oral health research. MinnCResT Program fellows can look forward to multiple years of support, favorable employment prospects, and fascinating scientific challenges in a community that fosters interdisciplinary research.

Featured research


MinnCResT Postdoctoral Fellow Mara Robu uses zebrafish as a model system to study craniofacial development. A useful technique is staining of craniofacial structures in 5-day old zebrafish larvae with Alcian blue. By knocking down expression of Wnt5 gene with a targeted morpholino (MO), the extension of craniofacial structures along the anterior-posterior axis is disrupted, as compared to the control (C).

Who we are

The Minnesota Craniofacial Research Training (MinnCResT) Program is a multidisciplinary, regional center of excellence. Located on the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus, MinnCResT trainees pursue novel research that is 1) fundamental to biology and human health and (2) applied to expand the frontiers and scope of dental, craniofacial and oral health. Fellowships are available for

  • DDS/PhD dual degree students
  • PhD students
  • Postdocs
  • Dentists pursuing PhD
  • Dentist Scientists pursuing postdoctoral training