William Maixner, DDS, PhD



Dr. Maixner, is the Director of the Center for Translational Pain Medicine (CTPM). CTPM incorporates basic science, clinical research, and pain management with the goals of: 1) understanding the pathophysiological processes that mediate persistent pain conditions and translating new discoveries into clinical practice, 2) creating high-quality educational programming for clinical and research professionals and the public, and 3) providing high-quality comprehensive, primary and specialized care to individuals with a variety of acute and chronic pain conditions. In addition, the Center aims to develop a common portal of entry by which patients will benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to the management of a variety of pain conditions. Complementing the existing Duke Pain Medicine Clinic, a treatment facility for orofacial pain will also open its doors in the Brier Creek area in Summer 2016.

After completing his BA, PhD, and DDS at the University of Iowa, Dr. Maixner was a research fellow at the National Institute of Dental Research. From 1985-2015, he was faculty at UNC-CH, rising from Assistant Professor in Prosthodontics to Professor in the Departments of Endodontics and Pharmacology. In 2009, Dr. Maixner was appointed the Mary Lily Kenan Flagler Bingham Distinguished Professorship. He also served as Co-Director of the Oral and Maxillofacial Pain Program, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Dentistry, and Director of the Center for Pain Research and Innovation (CPRI). In 2013, he received the New York College of Dentistry Distinguished Scientist Award and the Wilbert E. Fordyce Clinical Investigator Award from the American Pain Society. He has published more than 200 manuscripts and book chapters and has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1986.

In 2005, Dr. Maixner was the Program Director on the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research’s (NIDCR) $19 million, seven-year OPPERA study to examine pain produced by temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders. In 2012, the NIDCR awarded Dr. Maixner and his team an additional $16 million in funding to support the study (called OPPERA II) for an additional five-year period. Dr. Maixner’s primary research focus is on biological, environmental, and genetic factors involved in pain transmission and modulation. Dr. Maixner considers chronic pain to be a “hidden epidemic” and has therefore campaigned for more research support amongst colleagues, sponsors, health organizations, and congressional committees: http://www.help.senate.gov/hearings/pain-in-america-exploring-challenges-to-relief