Cleft lip and cleft palate are most common birth defects which affects 225,000 children every year in the United States. While soft tissue repair is palliative, regeneration of bone in the hard palate will restore proper maxillofacial growth. Of the several approaches, stem cell-based bone regeneration is gaining momentum. Successful regeneration of bone requires the use of appropriate scaffolds, regulatory molecules and readily available source of stem cells. Human gingival stem cells (HGMSCs) can be obtained with minimally invasive procedures as and when required. HGMSCs are autologous sources facilitating bone formation without complications of rejection and elicitation of immune responses. Repair and regeneration of bone is orchestrated by interplay of several key molecules, thus; understanding the precise mechanisms of bone formation is crucial for therapeutic approaches. In our quest for small regulators of osteogenesis, we have found that curcumin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule, enhances osteoblastic activity in addition to its anti-osteoclastic activity. The objective of this study is to explore the osteogenic potential of curcumin on gingival derived mesenchymal stem cells and to elucidate the molecular mechanisms, especially the MAP kinase pathway that regulates osteogenic differentiation. These studies will be important in establishing curcumin as key modulator of HGMSCs differentiation.