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Paul Trainor

B.Sc., Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Sydney, Australia
Ph.D., Developmental Biology, Children’s Medical Research Institute, University of Sydney, Australia

Portrait of Stowers Investigator Paul Trainor

Our long term goal is not only to uncover the etiology and pathogenesis of birth defects, but also to develop therapeutic avenues for their prevention.

Research Areas

Development and Regeneration, Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cell Biology

Courses Taught

Cell Dynamics, Stem Cells and Developmental Biology; Laboratory Rotation; Thesis Laboratory



Outstanding Mentor Award, American Association for Anatomy


David Bixler Distinguished Scientist Award for Excellence in Craniofacial Biology Research, Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology


Fellow, American Association for Anatomy


Hudson Prize


Basil O’Connor Scholar

Paul Trainor, Ph.D., a developmental biologist, is an Investigator at the Stowers Institute. Trainor joined the Institute in 2001, and is a leader in the fields of craniofacial, neural crest cell, and developmental biology.

An Australian native, Trainor earned a B.S. in genetics and biochemistry before receiving a Ph.D. in developmental biology in the lab of renowned embryologist Patrick Tam, Ph.D., at the Children’s Medical Research Institute of Sydney. Trainor moved to London for his postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Medical Research with Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D., a pioneer in how part of the brain, called the hindbrain, patterns facial structures.

In his lab, Trainor and his team investigates the genetic and developmental programs that cause rare diseases. In particular, they focus on how disruptions in neural crest cell formation lead to congenital disorders of the head and face like Treacher-Collins Syndrome and Acrofacial Dysostosis-Cincinnati Type. Trainor believes that rare diseases deserve the same attention and resources as more common conditions.

Featured Publications

Rdh10 loss-of-function and perturbed retinoid signaling underlies the etiology of choanal atresia

Kurosaka H, Wang Q, Sandell L, Yamashiro T, Trainor PA. Rdh10 loss-of-function and perturbed retinoid signaling underlies the etiology of choanal atresia. Hum Mol Genet. 2017;26:1268-1279.

Prevention of Treacher Collins syndrome craniofacial anomalies in mouse models via maternal antioxidant supplementation

Sakai D, Dixon J, Achilleos A, Dixon M, Trainor PA. Nat Commun. 2016;7:10328. doi: 10310.11038/ncomms10328.

Disrupting hedgehog and WNT signaling interactions promotes cleft lip pathogenesis.

Kurosaka H, Iulianella A, Williams T, Trainor PA. J Clin Invest. 2014;124:1660-1671.

Prevention of the neurocristopathy Treacher Collins syndrome through inhibition of p53 function

Jones NC, Lynn ML, Gaudenz K, Sakai D, Aoto K, Rey JP, Glynn EF, Ellington L, Du C, Dixon J, Dixon MJ, Trainor PA. Nature Medicine. 2008. 14(2):125-33

Tcof1/Treacle is required for neural crest cell formation and proliferation deficiencies that cause craniofacial abnormalities

Dixon J, Jones NC, Sandell LL, Jayasinghe SM, Crane J, Rey JP, Dixon MJ, Trainor PA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.2006;103:13403-13408.

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