Photo of Dr. Jon-Paul Pepper, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at Stanford University.
Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Facial paralysis is a debilitating condition that affects thousands of people.  The loss of movement on one side of the face can distort the appearance of one’s face during emotional expression, impact speech, the ability to eat and drink normally, and the health of one’s eye. When appropriate, surgery can help to rehabilitate a patient with facial paralysis. Despite excellent surgical technique, we are currently limited by the regenerative capacity of the body and perfect symmetry is impossible to restore.

Directed by Dr. Jon-Paul Pepper, the mission of the Pepper lab's research is to identify new methods of increasing the capacity of the body to regenerate the facial nerve after injury.

They do this by exploring the regenerative cues that are normally used to restore tissue after nerve injury, in particular through pathways of neurogenesis, nerve injury response, and Schwann cell response after injury.