Dr. Paine-Saunders, Professor here at Fontbonne University, is a recipient of Emerson’s 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award. This award annually recognizes educators in the St. Louis metropolitan area who are examples of excellence in their field.
Dr. Paine-Saunders earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Wyoming, where she ran Track and Cross-Country. During this time, she worked as a laboratory technician at the University of Minnesota, where she met her husband, Scott. She later received her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California-Berkeley. Dr. Paine-Saunders has also done post-doctoral work at MIT and the University of California-Irvine before working as a Researcher at Washington University.
Dr. Paine-Saunders joined the faculty at Fontbonne in 2004. When asked why she chose Fontbonne, she shared, “Fontbonne chose me! Libby Rayhel, fellow Biological and Behavioral Science Instructor, worked in the lab next to ours at Wash U. and told me about an open position for a genetics instructor.”
Dr. Paine-Saunders has been an educator for eighteen years. She shared that she always had a passion for science, particularly lab research. She strives to share these experiences with young researchers, “I love to talk to students about their interests and provide mentorship for students interested in careers in science.” Dr. Paine-Saunders makes an intentional effort to hear students’ concerns and provide support. She wants her students to understand that science is a challenging but gratifying career.
In addition to being an outstanding professor, Dr. Paine-Saunders has also directed the BioEYES STEM outreach program since 2020. This program reaches out to local middle schools—Brittany Woods in U. City and Gateway Academy, to further STEM initiatives and education. So far, this program has reached over 500 students.
Using her passion for lab research, Dr. Paine-Saunders started directing undergraduate research in zebrafish. During her 2014 sabbatical at Washington University in the laboratory of Dr. Lila Solnica-Krezel, she made CRISPR mutations in zebrafish. In 2018, she began Zebrafish Development and Genetics Workshop at Woods Hole. Most recently, she was awarded a sabbatical for spring 2023 to expand BioEYES outreach.
Congratulations Dr. Paine-Saunders! We are so proud of your work.