Howard M. Saal, MD, FACMG

Director, Clinical Genetics

Director, Cytogenetics Laboratory

Co-Director, 22Q-VCFS Center

Medical Director, Craniofacial Center

Academic Affiliations

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone 513-636-2438

Fax 513-636-7297



Craniofacial disorders; community genetics; growth disorders; 22Q-VCFS.


Genetic etiologies and natural histories of craniofacial disorders and new syndrome delineation

Howard M. Saal, MD, a highly respected clinical geneticist and dysmorphologist, is the head of the section of Clinical Genetics in the Division of Human Genetics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. In addition to being board certified in clinical genetics and pediatrics, Dr. Saal is a board certified cytogeneticist.

Early in his career, he was the director of the Cytogenetics Laboratory at the University of Connecticut Health Center, where he was also the associate director of the Craniofacial Disorders Team.

Dr. Saal is interested in the genetic causes of craniofacial disorders, especially cleft lip and cleft palate. He also has a significant interest in the natural history of genetic conditions, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications centering on the natural history and management of various genetic conditions, with special attention to neurofibromatosis, cleft lip, cleft palate, Pierre Robin sequence and 22Q-VCFS.

After leaving Connecticut, Dr. Saal went to Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, where he was the vice-chairman of the Department of Medical Genetics and co-director of the Craniofacial Center. His clinical activities included establishment of the Neurofibromatosis Clinic, the Biochemical Genetics Clinic, and the multidisciplinary Skeletal Dysplasia Clinic with his colleagues at Children's National Medical Center. His interest in community activities led to his being named to the Health Professionals Advisory Committee and later to the Board of Directors of the National Capital Area March of Dimes.

Dr. Saal joined the staff at Cincinnati Children's in 1993 as the head of Clinical Genetics. He has been an active participant in numerous clinical settings and has established the Hereditary Cancer Program, a unique local resource for families with familial and inherited cancers.

Dr. Saal is involved in community activities and has established urban genetics outreach clinics at three sites in Hamilton County. He has also been appointed as acting director of the Craniofacial Center at Cincinnati Children's, where he continues to cultivate his interests in the care of children with craniofacial disorders.

MD: Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, 1975-1979.

Internship: University of Connecticut Integrated Program in Pediatrics, Farmington, CT, 1979-1980.

Residency: University of Connecticut Integrated Program in Pediatrics, Farmington, CT, 1980-1982.

Fellowship: University of Washington School of Medicine Division of Medical Genetics, Seattle, WA, 1982-1984.

Certification: American Board of Medical Genetics in Cytogenetics and Clinical Genetics, 1984; American Board of Pediatrics, 1985.

View PubMed Publications

Zarate YA, Putnam PE, Saal HM. Intestinal malrotation in a patient with Pfeiffer syndrome type 2. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2010 Nov;47(6):638-41.

Zarate YA, Martin LJ, Hopkin RJ, Bender PL, Zhang X, Saal HM. Evaluation of growth in patients with isolated cleft lip and/or cleft palate. Pediatrics. 2010 Mar;125(3):e543-9.

Knapke SC, Bender P, Prows C, Schultz JR, Saal HM. Parental perspectives of children born with cleft lip and/or palate: a qualitative assessment of suggestions for healthcare improvements and interventions. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2010 Mar;47(2):143-50.

Burrow TA, Saal HM, de Alarcon A, Martin LJ, Cotton RT, Hopkin RJ. Characterization of congenital anomalies in individuals with choanal atresia. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009 Jun;135(6):543-7.

Baboiu O, Collins M, Saal HM. Hepatic mesenchymal hamartoma: cytogenetic analysis of a case and review of the literature. Pediatric Pathology. 2008 Jul-Aug;11(4):295-299.

Kogan JM, Egelhoff JC, Saal HM, Interstitial deletion of 13q associated with polymicrogyria. Am J Med Genet. 2008;146A(7):910-916.

Kotsopoulos J, Lubinski J, Lynch HT, Klijn J, Ghadirian P, Neuhausen SL, Kim-Sing C, Foulkes WD, Moller P, Isaacs C, Domchek S, Randall S, Offit K, Tung N, Ainsworth P, Gershoni-Baruch R, Eisen A, Daly M, Karlan B, Saal HM, Couch F, Pasini B, Wagner T, Friedman E, Rennert G, Eng C, Weitzel J, Sun P, Narod SA; The Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinical Study Group. Age at first birth and the risk of breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2007;10(2)5:221-228.

Friedman, E, Kotsopoulos, J, Lubinski, J, Lynch, HT, Paviz, G, Neuhausen, SL, Isaacs, C, Weber, B, Foulkes, WD, Moller, P, Rosen, B, Kim-Sing, C, Gershoni-Baruch, R, Ainsworth, P, Daly, M, Tung, N, Eisen, A, Olopade, OI, Karlan, B, Saal, HM, Garber, JE, Rennert, G, Gilchrist, D, Eng, C, Offit, K, Osborne, M, Sun, P, Narod, SA. Spontaneous and therapeutic abortions and the risk of breast cancer among BRCA mutation carriers. Breast Cancer Res. 2006;8(2):R15.

Gronwald, J, Tung, N, Offit, K, Gershoni, R, Daly, M, Kim-Sing, C, Olsson, H, Ainsworth, P, Eisen, A,
Saal, H, Friedman, E, Olopade, O, Osborne, M, Weitzel, J, Lynch, H, Ghadirian, P, Lubinski, J, Sun P, Narod, SA al. Tamoxifen and contralateral breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers: an update. Int J Cancer. 2006;118(9): 2281-4.