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Michael Paine - January 2017

Michael Paine, B.D.S., Ph.D., is a tenured professor of dentistry at the University of Southern California, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, Los Angeles. He’s also the director of the Graduate Program in Craniofacial Biology (Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC) and co-director of the Masters of Science in Clinical, Biomedical and Translational Investigations (Keck School of Medicine of USC).

Paine earned his B.Sc. at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia; his B.D.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Sydney, Australia; and his certificate in periodontology at Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.

As principal investigator of “Sodium-Dependent Phosphate Transporter Function in Odontogenesis - Grant #R21 DE024704”, the major goal of this project is to study phosphate ion import channels evident on dental cell membranes with the idea that even a fundamental understanding of phosphate transport in dental tissues will result in opportunities to develop better treatment options for caries and other dental diseases, that impact dental hard tissue health. This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Paine’s research on enamel formation focuses on the characterization of individual protein components, their structure and spatiotemporal expression profiles during development, their assembly properties, and how these proteins initiate and direct mineralization of enamel crystallites. As a world-renowned dental enamel researcher, some of his notable research accomplishments are that he has engineered an amelogenin mini-gene to study alternative splicing; he has demonstrated that the sodium bicarbonate co-transporter (NBCe1) is essential for the normal development of mouse dentition; and he has identified novel candidate genes involved in mineralization of dental enamel by genome-wide transcript profiling.  

Last year he received the IADR Distinguished Scientist Award in Basic Research in Biological Mineralization, which is one of the highest honors bestowed by IADR. He also is the recipient of the 1999 IADR/AADR William J. Gies Award for his IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research published study entitled "Protein to protein interactions: Criteria defining the assembly of the enamel organic matrix." Paine has authored/co-authored more than 80 publications.

Since joining AADR in 1994, Paine has remained engaged through serving as vice president and president of the AADR Southern California Section, where he currently serves as the treasurer; and was a prior vice president and president of the IADR Mineralized Tissue Group. Additionally, he has served as a member of the AADR Constitution Committee.

How did you first learn about AADR and what motivated you to join?

I went to dental school in Australia and through my dental school, I learned about IADR and the Australian/New Zealand Division. I joined AADR when I came to the United States and did my postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California.  

What do you find to be the most valuable benefit of your AADR membership?
The most valuable benefit of my AADR membership is having access to a wide network of researchers and scientists. By attending the IADR and AADR meetings every year, I’ve been able to meet colleagues and collaborators that I’ve stayed in contact with over the years. Being an AADR member and attending the meetings allows me to establish friendships and learn about their science. 

What is the best way for newer members to become more involved in AADR?
Being an AADR member gives you a platform to network with a great group of people who belong to this organization you believe in. I think new members should make sure they’re joining a Scientific Group or Network that represents their science and network with those members at the IADR and AADR meetings. Other ways that newer AADR members can become more engaged is by joining a committee and being part of the meeting program planning.

What would you say to AADR members who will be attending the Annual Meeting this year for the first time? 
Attending the AADR Annual Meeting once a year is a valuable opportunity because you get to meet the people who have written the journal articles you’ve read, and people with similar research interests. You may develop a collaboration with those researchers and learn more about the science. Attending the meetings is always a wonderful opportunity and one you don’t want to miss. 

What advice would you give to future dental researchers to help them achieve success in their careers? 
To dental students, I would say seek out mentors who can help you at various stages of your career. Also, talk to your professors about their careers and understand what they have done to be successful. Having mentors and learning more about your professors’ careers will help you in navigating your own career.   



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