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The Life of a Dental Biomaterial Researcher with Dr. Nate Lawson

the best practices show podcast Sep 11, 2020


Best Practices Show Podcast Episode #231: The Life of a Dental Biomaterial Researcher with Dr. Nate Lawson

Dr. Nate Lawson is here! Nate is the Director of the Division of Biomaterials at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. He’s published over 150 articles, abstracts, book chapters, and periodicals related to dental materials. He is a researcher, teacher, and a dentist who practices part time. Nate is passionate about biomaterials and research. He also loves teaching and speaking in front of groups. He is always willing to share his knowledge and takes what some might consider boring and make it exciting.

Nate shares his background and how he always knew he’d be a dentist. He went to college for engineering, but ended up on a research project with Dr. John Burgess. This project sparked his love for research and rekindled his love of dentistry. He shares how his journey began and how he ended up in Alabama. Nate also talks about some of the exciting projects he’s been a part of and the progress made in dental materials over the last five years. We also get to learn exactly what biomaterials are and why they have so much potential. Nate has a special gift of appealing to younger dentists and making the science of his work exciting.

[03:10] Dr. Nate Lawson is the director of biomaterials at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. He's originally from Chicago. His days are filled with research and testing different properties of materials. He also teaches and has an active practice where he sees patients.

[05:10] He loves teaching and doing research.

[06:16] He went to college for engineering, but it was always his plan to become a dentist. In college, he lucked out and started doing research with Dr. John Burgess. 

[13:19] Nate talks about the importance of biomaterials and how the latest trends are always changing. There's always something new coming out to stay on top of. 

[15:15] Nate also works with dental manufacturers to make the products better. 

[18:14] Nate talks about the future of research and the health of funding. 

[20:43] Currently there have been some effective online components of teaching dentistry. Although, students do miss the feedback of the in-person classroom.

[22:53] Nate is 36 and has done a remarkable job connecting with the younger generation. 

[27:13] Nate thinks Facebook groups are a great opportunity for mentoring and loves the quick visuals of Instagram. Social media serves a purpose of being cheap and accessible. 

[32:38] The Practice-Based Research Network collects data and publishes it, so that clinicians will have access to the information. Clinicians can enroll for free.

[36:21] Nate talks about bioactive materials. He's been doing research on testing the bioactivity of different dental materials and the clinical effects. 

Links and Resources:

Dr. Nate Lawson

Dentinaltube on Instagram

[email protected]

Dr. John Burgess

Dr. Marcus Black

Practice-Based Research Networks 


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