stinson.jpgAssistant Professor, Public Health Sciences

Dr. Crystal Stinson was awarded her DDS from Texas A&M University College of Dentistry in 2014, graduating in the top third of her dental graduating class. In addition, she completed her M.S. degree in Education for Healthcare Professionals in 2016 from Texas A&M University College of Medicine and subsequently a Ph.D. in Oral Biology, with a concentration in orofacial pain also from Texas A&M in 2017.

Dr. Stinson was the first Texas A&M graduate to receive the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Fellowship. She is only the 6th dentist to receive the awards since its creation in 1983. The nearly half million-dollar grant will support her post-doctoral orofacial pain research project and academic career progression for the next 4 years.

Dr. Stinson is an early stage investigator that completed her PhD and research training in basic neuroscience and pain. Most recently she has used her knowledge of basic behavioral neuroscience with her clinical expertise to develop dental, provider-led, patient-oriented addiction research. She was awarded a $1.5 million dollar grant from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) for her new research niche. The new projects have the potential to shift the clinical paradigm of addictive behavior therapy. The duality of Dr. Stinson’s training make her a competitor for independent NIH support, especially upon the completion of her mentored research project. 

Dr. Stinson is full-time faculty at Texas A&M University College of Dentistry in the Department of Public Health. Aside from her clinical research projects, she supervises students in the TAMCOD external clinics. Dr. Stinson also works in private practice one day per week in an underserved area in Dallas County.


  • American Dental Association Institute for Diversity in Leadership Fellowship, 2019
  • Children’s Defense Fund “Beat the Odds” Outstanding Alumni Award, 2019
  • Robert Wood Johnson Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program, 2017
  • International Association of Dental Research (IADR) Neuroscience Group Young Investigator Award by Wiley-Blackwell Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 2017
  • American Association for Dental Research Dallas Section: 1st place Dental Research Award for Poster Presentation, 2017

Review Articles & Book Chapters

  • Stinson, C, Bellinger, LL, Puri, J, Ahuja, N, Bender, SD, Kramer, PR. Estrogenic effects on temporomandibular disorder and pain. J Appl Behav Res. 2019;

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Umorin M., Stinson C., Bellinger L., Kramer, P. (2015) Genes in the GABA pathway increase in the lateral thalamus of Sprague Dawley rats during the proestrus/estrus phase. Journal of Cellular Physiology, (5)231, 1057-1064.
  2. Stinson, C., Deng, M., Yee, M., Bellinger, L., Kinchington, P., & Kramer, P. (2017). Sex differences underlying orofacial varicella zoster associated pain in rats. BMC Neurology, 17, BMC Neurology, 2017, Vol.17
  3. Kramer, P., Stinson, C., Umorin, M., Deng, M., Rao, M., Bellinger, L., Yee, M.B., Kinchington, P. (2017) Lateral thalamic control of nociceptive response after whisker pad injection of varicella zoster virus. Neuroscience, 356, 207-216.
  4. Strand J., Stinson C., Bellinger L.L., Peng Y., Kramer P.R., (2018). Gi protein functions in thalamic neurons to decrease orofacial nociceptive response, Brain Research, 1694, 63-72
  5. Kramer, P., Strand, J., Stinson, C., Bellinger, L., Kinchington, P., Yee, M.,Peng, Y. (2017). Role for the Ventral Posterior Medial/Posterior Lateral Thalamus and Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Affective/Motivation Pain Induced by Varicella Zoster Virus. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 11, 27.
  6. Kramer, P., Rao, M., Stinson, C., Bellinger, L., Kinchington, P., & Yee, M. (2018). Aromatase Derived Estradiol Within the Thalamus Modulates Pain Induced by Varicella Zoster Virus. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 12, 46
  7. Stinson, C., Logan, S., Bellinger, L., Rao, M., Kinchington, P., & Kramer, P. (2019). Estradiol Acts in Lateral Thalamic Region to Attenuate Varicella Zoster Virus Associated Affective Pain. Neuroscience, 414, 99-111.

Research Support

Ongoing Research Support

Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)                    Stinson (Co-PI)          3/1/2019-3/1/2022

Engaging Oral Health Providers for Evidence-Based Tobacco Cessation in Community Healthcare Settings

The goal of this research is to investigate personalized, dental, provider-led tobacco cessation therapy in low income populations.

RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Grant      Stinson (PI)          


Sex differences in orofacial post herpetic neuralgia

The goal of this study is to determine the role of key sex hormones in GABAergic thalamic gene expression and VZV associated pain response that contribute to sexual dimorphism in orofacial pain.

Delta Dental                                                                                                     Stinson (Co-I)     


Avoiding Implicit Bias and Expanding Dental Care in Pediatric Special Needs Dentistry

The goal of this project was to determine if the Children’s Medical Center pre-doctoral Special Needs in Pediatric Dentistry rotation increased the workforce of general dentists in treating children with special needs. The research addressed knowledge, competency and comfort of third-year dental students pre and post the rotation experience and post-graduation.

Completed Research Support

R01-003 minority supplement (R01-DE022129-01A1)                          Stinson (Co-I)    


The goal of this grant was to support research for DDS/PhD trainee in sex differences in orofacial pain research.