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Nathan Young, PhD

TitleAssistant Professor
SchoolUCSF School of Medicine
DepartmentOrthopaedic Surgery
Address1001 Potrero Ave
San Francisco CA 94110
Phone415-206-5366
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San FranciscoPostdoctoral Studies2007Graduate Division
    Stanford UniversityPostdoctoral Studies2006Plastic Surgery
    University of CalgaryPostdoctoral Studies2004Cell Biology & Anatomy
    Harvard UniversityPh.D.2003Biological Anthropology
    New College of FloridaB.A.1995Anthropology

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    In my research, I approach basic biomedical questions both through an evolutionary approach to variation (i.e., population-thinking) and utilizing functional compromise and historical constraint as fundamental explanatory principles. When combined with mechanistic insights from experimental systems, this approach yields significant insights into the generation of individual phenotypes, both normal and abnormal. To accomplish this goal I have developed a research program that combines classical embryology, modern experimental and genetic tools, and advanced methods for quantifying and comparing phenotypes at a range of scales. This approach has significance for understanding not only the processes that contribute to and constrain evolutionary diversity, but also the individual phenotypic differences found within species and among individuals, including dysmorphologies associated with human disease states. My research therefore includes the study of normal mechanisms of development as well as the etiology of congenital developmental defects, and is strongly relevant to longstanding goals of providing personalized and predictive medicine.


    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    The developmental genetic basis for evolutionary variation in the hominin shoulder
    NSF BCS-1518596Jul 1, 2015 - Jun 30, 2018
    Role: Co-Investigator
    A Molecular Investigation of Growth and Shape Variation in Cleft-Lip Etiology
    NIH/NIDCR F32DE018596Sep 1, 2007 - Aug 31, 2009
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse ORNG Applications 
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    Collapse In The News
    Collapse Featured Publications

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Young NM, Linde-Medina M, Fondon JW, Hallgrímsson B, Marcucio RS. Craniofacial diversification in the domestic pigeon and the evolution of the avian skull. Nat Ecol Evol. 2017 Mar 13; 1(4):95. PMID: 28812673.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Young NM, Sherathiya K, Gutierrez L, Nguyen E, Bekmezian S, Huang JC, Hallgrímsson B, Lee JS, Marcucio RS. Facial surface morphology predicts variation in internal skeletal shape. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2016 Apr; 149(4):501-8. PMID: 27021454; PMCID: PMC4813327 [Available on 04/01/17].
    3. Young NM, Capellini TD, Roach NT, Alemseged Z. Reply to Almécija: A new direction for reconstructing our last common ancestor with chimpanzees. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Feb 23; 113(8):E945. PMID: 26862164; PMCID: PMC4776488.
    4. Young NM, Capellini TD, Roach NT, Alemseged Z. Reply to Melillo: Woranso-Mille is consistent with an australopithecine shoulder intermediate between African apes and Homo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Dec 29; 112(52):E7160. PMID: 26676585; PMCID: PMC4702962.
    5. Hallgrimsson B, Percival CJ, Green R, Young N, Mio W, Marcucio R. Morphometrics, 3D Imaging, and Craniofacial Development. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2015; 115:561-97. PMID: 26589938.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Marcucio R, Hallgrimsson B, Young NM. Facial Morphogenesis: Physical and Molecular Interactions Between the Brain and the Face. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2015; 115:299-320. PMID: 26589930.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Young NM, Capellini TD, Roach NT, Alemseged Z. Fossil hominin shoulders support an African ape-like last common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 22; 112(38):11829-34. PMID: 26351685; PMCID: PMC4586873.
    8. Hu D, Young N, Xu Q, Jamniczky H, Green RM, Mio W, Marcucio RS, Hallgrimsson B. Signals from the brain induce variation in avian facial shape. Dev Dyn. 2015 Apr 22. PMID: 25903813.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Young NM, Winslow B, Takkellapati S, Kavanagh K. Shared rules of development predict patterns of evolution in vertebrate segmentation. Nat Commun. 2015 Apr 01; 6:6690. PMID: 25827599.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Smith FJ, Percival CJ, Young N, Hu D, Schneider RA, Marcucio RS, Hallgrimsson B. Divergence of craniofacial developmental trajectories among avian embryos. Dev Dyn. 2015 Feb 19. PMID: 25703037.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Hu D, Young NM, Li X, Xu Y, Hallgrímsson B, Marcucio RS. A dynamic Shh expression pattern, regulated by SHH and BMP signaling, coordinates fusion of primordia in the amniote face. Development. 2015 Feb 01; 142(3):567-74. PMID: 25605783; PMCID: PMC4302993.
    12. Young NM, Hu D, Lainoff AJ, Smith FJ, Diaz R, Tucker AS, Trainor PA, Schneider RA, Hallgrímsson B, Marcucio RS. Embryonic bauplans and the developmental origins of facial diversity and constraint. Development. 2014 Mar; 141(5):1059-63. PMID: 24550113; PMCID: PMC3929406.
    13. Li X, Young NM, Tropp S, Hu D, Xu Y, Hallgrímsson B, Marcucio RS. Quantification of shape and cell polarity reveals a novel mechanism underlying malformations resulting from related FGF mutations during facial morphogenesis. Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Dec 20; 22(25):5160-72. PMID: 23906837; PMCID: PMC3842176.
    14. Young NM. Macroevolutionary diversity of amniote limb proportions predicted by developmental interactions. J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol. 2013 Nov; 320(7):420-7. PMID: 23913472.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Smith F, Hu D, Young NM, Lainoff AJ, Jamniczky HA, Maltepe E, Hallgrimsson B, Marcucio RS. The effect of hypoxia on facial shape variation and disease phenotypes in chicken embryos. Dis Model Mech. 2013 Jul; 6(4):915-24. PMID: 23592613; PMCID: PMC3701211.
    16. Hallgrímsson B, Jamniczky HA, Young NM, Rolian C, Schmidt-Ott U, Marcucio RS. The generation of variation and the developmental basis for evolutionary novelty. J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol. 2012 Sep; 318(6):501-17. PMID: 22649039; PMCID: PMC3648206.
    17. Chong HJ, Young NM, Hu D, Jeong J, McMahon AP, Hallgrimsson B, Marcucio RS. Signaling by SHH rescues facial defects following blockade in the brain. Dev Dyn. 2012 Feb; 241(2):247-56. PMID: 22275045; PMCID: PMC3547623.
    18. Marcucio RS, Young NM, Hu D, Hallgrimsson B. Mechanisms that underlie co-variation of the brain and face. Genesis. 2011 Apr; 49(4):177-89. PMID: 21381182; PMCID: PMC3086711.
    19. Young NM, Chong HJ, Hu D, Hallgrímsson B, Marcucio RS. Quantitative analyses link modulation of sonic hedgehog signaling to continuous variation in facial growth and shape. Development. 2010 Oct; 137(20):3405-9. PMID: 20826528; PMCID: PMC2947484.
    20. Young NM, Wagner GP, Hallgrímsson B. Development and the evolvability of human limbs. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Feb 23; 107(8):3400-5. PMID: 20133636; PMCID: PMC2840520.
    21. Brugmann SA, Powder KE, Young NM, Goodnough LH, Hahn SM, James AW, Helms JA, Lovett M. Comparative gene expression analysis of avian embryonic facial structures reveals new candidates for human craniofacial disorders. Hum Mol Genet. 2010 Mar 01; 19(5):920-30. PMID: 20015954; PMCID: PMC2816616.
    22. Hallgrímsson B, Jamniczky H, Young NM, Rolian C, Parsons TE, Boughner JC, Marcucio RS. Deciphering the Palimpsest: Studying the Relationship Between Morphological Integration and Phenotypic Covariation. Evol Biol. 2009 Dec; 36(4):355-376. PMID: 23293400.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Boughner JC, Wat S, Diewert VM, Young NM, Browder LW, Hallgrímsson B. Short-faced mice and developmental interactions between the brain and the face. J Anat. 2008 Dec; 213(6):646-62. PMID: 19094181; PMCID: PMC2666134.
    24. Young NM. A comparison of the ontogeny of shape variation in the anthropoid scapula: functional and phylogenetic signal. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2008 Jul; 136(3):247-64. PMID: 18324623.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Hallgrimsson B, Lieberman DE, Young NM, Parsons T, Wat S. Evolution of covariance in the mammalian skull. Novartis Found Symp. 2007; 284:164-85; discussion 185-90. PMID: 17710853.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Young NM, Wat S, Diewert VM, Browder LW, Hallgrímsson B. Comparative morphometrics of embryonic facial morphogenesis: implications for cleft-lip etiology. Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2007 Jan; 290(1):123-39. PMID: 17441205.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Young NM. Function, ontogeny and canalization of shape variance in the primate scapula. J Anat. 2006 Nov; 209(5):623-36. PMID: 17062020; PMCID: PMC2100339.
    28. Steiper ME, Young NM. Primate molecular divergence dates. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2006 Nov; 41(2):384-94. PMID: 16815047.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Willmore KE, Zelditch ML, Young N, Ah-Seng A, Lozanoff S, Hallgrímsson B. Canalization and developmental stability in the Brachyrrhine mouse. J Anat. 2006 Mar; 208(3):361-72. PMID: 16533318; PMCID: PMC2100242.
    30. Young NM, Hallgrímsson B. Serial homology and the evolution of mammalian limb covariation structure. Evolution. 2005 Dec; 59(12):2691-704. PMID: 16526515.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Steiper ME, Young NM, Sukarna TY. Genomic data support the hominoid slowdown and an Early Oligocene estimate for the hominoid-cercopithecoid divergence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Dec 07; 101(49):17021-6. PMID: 15572456; PMCID: PMC535389.
    32. Young N. Modularity and integration in the hominoid scapula. J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol. 2004 May 15; 302(3):226-40. PMID: 15211684.
      View in: PubMed
    33. Young NM, MacLatchy L. The phylogenetic position of Morotopithecus. J Hum Evol. 2004 Feb; 46(2):163-84. PMID: 14871561.
      View in: PubMed
    34. Young NM. A reassessment of living hominoid postcranial variability: implications for ape evolution. J Hum Evol. 2003 Dec; 45(6):441-64. PMID: 14643673.
      View in: PubMed
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