Cleft and Craniofacial Center | Meet Our Team

Children with facial differences may experience a variety of procedures and therapies throughout their lifetime. We will streamline your visits to the hospital so that multiple specialists can provide you and your child with a unified plan of care.

Boston Children’s is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, where all of our physicians are also faculty. Our clinicians are also involved in research that moves us closer to a better understanding of—and treatment for—all abnormalities of the head and face. Learn more about our craniofacial research.

Meet the Cleft and Craniofacial Team at Boston Children’s Hospital

Our Cleft and Craniofacial Center includes some of the world’s most experienced neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, oral and maxillofacial specialists, dentistry professionals, psychologists and social workers. Our strength in these related subspecialties ensures that we fully address every aspect of your child’s care, from initial physical examinations through surgery and follow-up.

Our Surgeons

John G. Meara, MD, DMD, MBA, is Boston Children's plastic surgeon-in-chief. His areas of expertise include cleft lip and palate, fetal craniofacial defects and head, neck and skull base tumors. Meara’s research addresses the genetic analysis of craniosynostosis, management of sinus cysts and techniques to conserve blood during craniofacial surgery. In addition, Dr. Meara is a Kletjian Professor of Global Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

John B. Mulliken, MD, is a plastic surgeon and co-director of the Boston Children's Vascular Anomalies Center and Director of the Craniofacial Center. He routinely performs corrective surgeries for children with fetal craniofacial deformities, vascular anomalies, cleft lip and cleft palate and Sturge-Weber syndrome. Dr. Mulliken is also a professor of plastic surgery at Harvard Medical School.

Bonnie L. Padwa, DMD, MD, is Boston Children's oral surgeon-in-chief in the section of oral and maxillofacial surgery. She regularly sees patients with jaw cysts and tumors, cleft lip and palate and vascular anomalies. She is engaged in research centered on the facial growth of children with different craniofacial conditions. Dr. Padwa is an associate professor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

Cory Resnick, DMD, MD, is an attending surgeon in the oral and maxillofacial surgery department. Some of his clinical focuses include treatment of craniofacial anomalies and syndromes, orthognathic (jaw) surgery and management of Robin Sequence. He is an active member of the multidisciplinary Craniofacial and Vascular Anomalies teams and has many ongoing clinical research projects designed to improve treatment and outcomes in several areas of oral and maxillofacial surgery. 

Mark R. Proctor, MD, is Neurosurgeon-in-Chief who treats children affected by craniofacial conditions, like craniosynostosis, congenital malformations of the spine, neurological trauma and sports-related head and spine injuries. He completed his surgical fellowship here at Boston Children's and has an active research program, focusing on developing improved long-term outcomes for neurotrauma patients. Dr. Proctor is an associate professor of neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School.

Carolyn R. Rogers-Vizena, MD, completed her plastic surgery training at the University of Wisconsin followed by a craniofacial surgery fellowship here at Boston Children’s Hospital. She has been involved in cleft lip and palate research for nearly a decade, beginning with a research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. Her current research parallels her clinical interests, with a particular emphasis on Robin sequence and cleft lip and cleft palate. She remains passionate about general pediatric plastic surgery and offers a variety of clinical services.

Ingrid Ganske, MD, is an attending surgeon in the plastic surgery department. She completed postgraduate training in the Harvard Plastic Surgery Residency, followed by a Craniofacial Fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. She has many ongoing clinical research projects related to best techniques for and long term outcomes following repair of cleft lip and palate, as well as cleft nasal deformity.

Our Dentistry Professionals

Richard A. Bruun, DDS, is a pediatric orthodontist with a particular focus in treating patients with cleft lip and palate and craniofacial conditions. He completed his internship and residencies at Boston Children's and is an instructor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

Elizabeth Ross, DDS, is a pediatric dentist with a special interest in children born with cleft lip and palate. Dr. Ross completed her dental training at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada. She completed residencies at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada and the University of Rochester, NY.
She also completed a fellowship at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, before moving to Boston. She is currently an instructor at the Harvard School of Dental School of Medicine.

Stephen Shusterman, DMD, is Boston Children’s dentist-in-chief emeritus. He treats the full spectrum of pediatric dentistry patients, with a particular focus on helping children with cleft lip and cleft palate and providing dental care for medically compromised children. Dr. Shusterman completed his residency at Boston Children's and is an associate professor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

Our Geneticist

Joan M. Stoler, MD, is a clinical geneticist who studies the genetic underpinnings of craniofacial conditions, particularly craniosynostosis. She is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Catherine Bearce Nowak, MD, practices clinical genetics and has special interest in conditions that affect he development of facial structures such as cleft lip and palate and craniosynostosis. She is the director of The Feingold Center for Children and sees patients in Waltham, Peabody and North Dartmouth. 

Our Nursing Professionals

Maria Ambrose, RN, MS, CPNP, is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner who specializes in plastic and oral surgery.

Catherine Noonan, RN, MS, CPNP, CWON, is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner in Boston Children’s Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery. Her specialties include cleft lip and palate, as well as wound care.

Olivia Oppel RN, BSN, CPN is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston MA, is a Certified Pediatric Nurse who specializes in care of patients with cleft lip/cleft palate and craniofacial diagnoses. She is the lead nurse in the Cleft and Craniofacial Center where she focuses on care coordination, including managing feeding difficulties, nutritional support, pre and post op education for families, as well as psychosocial and emotional support for parents. Olivia is actively engaged in an initiative to provide education to other nurses at local community hospitals on cleft lip and palate and craniofacial newborn baby care and feeding.

Our Allied Health Professionals

Lynn Schwartz, AuD, CCC-A, is a pediatric audiologist who assists children with a variety of hearing disorders and impairments.

Our Support Professionals 

Samantha Hall is a graduate of Stonehill College in Easton, MA with a degree in Healthcare Administration. She is the program coordinator for the Cleft and Craniofacial Center. She works closely with physicians and families to ensure our patients are receiving quality care through our interdisciplinary team approach. She is constantly working to improve and expand our program to meet the needs of our patients. 

Make an Appointment

For an appointment, more information or to obtain a second opinion for your child, please call us at 617-355-6309 or email

International Patients

For families residing outside of the United States, please call Boston Children's International Health Services at 1-617-355-5209.