Craniofacial Genetics Externship

June 2021 Update: With the college focused on launching an online graduate certificate and a MS in Human Craniofacial Genetics in the fall of 2022, applications are not currently being accepted for the Craniofacial Genetics Externship. Please check back for updates or email Dr. James K. Hartsfield, Jr. ( if you have questions.

By drawing upon the clinical and research expertise within the University of Kentucky Colleges of Medicine and Dentistry, this Craniofacial Genetics externship provides a trainee with a unique opportunity to build a solid knowledge base in Clinical Craniofacial Genetics. Participants will have opportunities for hands-on experience in evaluating patients for clinical testing and diagnosis. The offering is designed to benefit individuals interested in expanding their understanding of Clinical Craniofacial Genetics and its application to clinical care and research, as well as faculty seeking a sabbatical experience in medical genetics.

This externship emphasizes clinical craniofacial, oral and dental genetics, and genetic counseling; and how molecular genetics can be applied to the diagnosis and study of these clinical conditions. Participants will gain experiences in a broad range of clinical craniofacial genetics, including craniofacial, oral and dental anomalies, disorders, and diseases. Both the College of Dentistry and College of Medicine have faculty Board Certified in Clinical Genetics involved in the offering. 

The Craniofacial Genetics externship also has a public Facebook group, available here, where faculty and other members share a variety of posts.

How to Apply

Review the information available below. Download and submit a completed application (MSWord).


  • USA or foreign medical, dental, DVM, PhD in a medical science, MS in genetic counseling, or other health care degree 
  • Participants are expected to be highly capable of independent learning

Objectives & Goals 

  • Provide a foundational overview of clinical genetics and dysmorphology
  • Review the characteristics of the most common craniofacial genetic disorders
  • To learn about the application of the latest technologies to the molecular diagnosis and study of genetic conditions
  • To provide training in the basic components of genetic counseling, and evaluating patients for clinical testing and diagnosis 
  • Attend seminars and audit courses in human, animal, microbial, and/or molecular genetics per interest


Dr. James K. Hartsfield, Jr., Director of the Craniofacial Genetics Externship
Lorri A. Morford, PhD, Supervisor of the Center for the Biologic Basis of Oral/Systemic Diseases-Hereditary Genetics/Genomics Core


Areas of Focus

  • Clinical Genetics in Craniofacial Anomalies Teams
  • Genetics of Overlapping Chronic Inflammatory Conditions (i.e., Periodontal Disease, Aging, Alzheimer Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.) 
  • Connections between Dental Agenesis and Cancer
  • Oral-Pharyngeal Cancer 
  • Genetics of Facial Growth
  • Developmental Dental Dysplasias

Duration & Tuition

Attendance in the externship may vary from one month to two years. A minimum of six months is required if a participant wishes to obtain clinical credentials and see patients under faculty supervision. 

The educational experience may be tailored to fit an individual’s background in clinical and basic genetics, area of particular interest, and length of time. 

Long-distance learning opportunities via internet seminars, conferences, and materials online are available.

Tuition will be based on length of participation. 


Questions and application materials can be sent to:

Dr. James K. Hartsfield, Jr.
University of Kentucky
800 Rose Street Room 410
Lexington, KY USA 40536-0297
Phone: 859-323-0296 

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