I joined UCL’s Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health in 2006,which was an ideal opportunity to work closely with the North Thames Cleft team. Understanding the causes of cleft lip and palate is highly complicated since it involves many different genes and environmental risk factors, that sometimes interact together. My team, in collaboration with many researchers worldwide, have uncovered some of the key genetic and epigenetic factors that can lead to a cleft. We continue to try to understand how these impact on normal fetal development with a view to improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention. I have been closely involved with the CLEFT charity as a member of the Research Steering group since 2007.