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Surgery Research News

Congrats to Dr. Carla Zeballos on F32 Grant Award! (2018-05-03)

Trauma Researchers Win “Big” at Translational Science Research Day! (2018-05-02)

Congratulations to Dr. Talathoti on Becoming a US Citizen! (2018-02-07)

More research news...


Recent publications

Hernandez MC, Finnesgard EJ, Aho JM, Jenkins DH, Zielinski MD. Association of post-operative organ space infection after intraoperative irrigation in appendicitis. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2018 Apr;84(4):628-635. PMID: 29271870 View the abstract

Johnson M, Alarhayem A, Convertino V, Carter R 3rd, Chung K, Stewart R, Myers J, Dent D, Liao L, Cestero R, Nicholson S, Muir M, Schwacha M, Wampler D, DeRosa M, Eastridge B. Compensatory Reserve Index: Performance of a novel monitoring technology to identify the bleeding trauma patient. Shock. 2018 Mar;49(3):295-300. PMID: 28767544 View the abstract

Yamamoto R, Clanton D, Willis RE, Jonas RB, Cestero RF. Rapid decay of transthoracic echocardiography skills at 1 month: A prospective observational study. J Surg Educ. 2018 Mar - Apr;75(2):503-509. PMID: 28736288 View the abstract

More publications...

Trauma Immunopathology Lab 2015 Research Residents 2014 Research Residents 2013 Research Residents 2009 Research Residents Trauma Immunopathology Lab 2010 Research Residents Trauma Immunopathology Lab 2011 Research Residents 2012 Research Residents 2013 Research Residents




Surgery Research - Faculty

Click here for Cross-Appointed Faculty



Photo Martin G. Schwacha, PhD
Professor, Trauma Research
UT School of Medicine San Antonio

Email: schwacha@uthscsa.edu
Laboratory Website: Trauma Immunopathology Research Lab


BS, 1981, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
MS, 1991, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY
PhD, 1992, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY


Postdoctoral training:
1992-1994, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Immunology, Gamble Institute for Medical Research, Cincinnati OH
1994-1997, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Immunology/Microbiology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


Research: Dr. Schwacha's laboratory focuses on the role of the innate immune system in the host's response to traumatic injury, with particular emphasis on the response to burn injury. Major burn injury induces an immunopathogenic response with the release of a wide range of pro-inflammatory mediators by macrophages and other cells that contribute to the development of numerous complications including; immune dysfunction, SIRS, sepsis, delayed wound healing and multiple organ failure. Dr. Schwacha's laboratory has shown that post-burn immunosuppression is induced by macrophage-mediated processes. Other findings indicate a central role for gamma-delta T-cells in the post-burn immunoinflammatory responses including the regulation of macrophage hyperactivity, neutrophil-mediated organ injury, and wound healing. This T-cell subset is uniquely positioned in the immune/inflammatory axis to influence tissue repair, inflammation, anti-microbial activity and overall immune status post-injury. Current studies are directed at improving our understanding of gamma-delta T-cells in post-burn immunoinflammatory processes in both experimental and clinical settings. Other areas of major interest are the impact of opiate analgesics on post-injury immune responses and the relationship(s) between insulin resistance post-injury immune function.


Photo Susannah E. Nicholson, MD, MS
Assistant Professor / Research, Div. of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
UT School of Medicine San Antonio

Email: nicholsons@uthscsa.edu


BS, Biology, Duke University, 2000
MD, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine, 2005
MS, Clinical Investigation, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, TX, 2009


Postdoctoral training:
2005-2006, General Surgery Internship, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA)
2006-2013, General Surgery Residency, UTHSCSA, School of Medicine, Department of Surgery
2014, Fellowship in Surgical Critical Care, UTHSCSA, Div. of Trauma and Emergency Surgery


Research: Dr. Nicholson's current research focus is on the role of the innate immune system and inflammation in trauma patients. She was awarded a Mentored Research Career Development Award in Clinical & Translational Science in 2014 for her research evaluating the relationship between inflammation and intracellular components released into the circulation following cellular injury called Damage-Associated Molecular Proteins (DAMPs) and patient outcome. In 2016, Dr. Nicholson received additional funding from UTHSCSA’s Military Health Institute to study the microbiome of critically ill and injured patients, trauma systems, geriatric trauma, and pediatric trauma.


Photo Zhenyu Qin, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Vascular Surgery Research
UT School of Medicine San Antonio

Email: qinz@uthscsa.edu
Laboratory website: Vascular Metallomics Research Laboratory


MD, Xian Medical University, Shaanxi, China, 1994
PhD, Dermatology and Venereology, Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking, China, 2000
MS, Dermatology and Venereology, Xian Medical University, Shaanxi,China, 1997


Research: Dr. Qin received a Master's and MD from Xian Medical University with a specialization in dermatology, and his PhD from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences at Peking Union Medical College, with both his Masters and PhD in microbial infections, inflammation and host-pathogen interactions that led to 7 publications. He was a postdoctoral fellow for one year at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, and a second 3-year postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University. He worked with Drs. Tohru Fukai and David Harrison on reactive oxygen species at Emory Cardiology. Before joining to UTHSCSA Division of Vascular Surgery, Dr. Qin also worked at the University of Cincinnati Division of Cardiovascular Disease for four years as a Research Instructor.


The driving force of Dr. Qin's project is due to advances in techniques and science, it is time to revisit the vascular function of copper, an essential nutrient in human. First, the sensitivity and application of metallomic techniques have greatly improved. Dr. Qin is utilizing a highly novel approach that combines cutting-edge X-ray fluorescence spectrometric (XRF) imaging with inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to detect copper concentrations and localization in the blood vessel wall. Application of XRF imaging to biological samples in 2004 represented one of most exciting advances in metallomics. Dr. Barry Lai at the Argonne National Laboratory collaborates with Dr. Qin to apply this technique in vascular study. In addition, the emerging flow injection technique along with improved sample extraction methodology has produced a more powerful ICP-MS. The technique has been optimized and applied in Dr. Qin project in vascular tissues and cells via a close collaboration with Dr. Joseph Caruso in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati. Moreover, they established a novel concept, vascular metallomics, to bridge the gap between vascular biology and metallomics. Second, copper trafficking theory has been recently established and validated in several laboratories. This theory convincingly defines a group of proteins in the regulation of uptake, distribution, sequestration and export of copper. Among these proteins, ATP7A has attracted significant attention since the identification of its function as a copper egress pump and the discovery of mutations of ATP7A leading to human Menkes disease. Dr. Qin's approach is to study the physiopathology of the interaction between cardiovascular homeostasis and copper metabolism in vascular biology via dissecting the function of ATP7A.


Photo Paula K. Shireman, MD
Professor, Vascular Surgery and
Vice Dean for Research, Dielmann Chair in Surgery, UT School of Medicine San Antonio

Email: shireman@uthscsa.edu
Laboratory website: Shireman Vascular Research Lab


2004 - MS, Clinical Investigation, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
1990 - MD, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
1986 - BS, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


Postgraduate training:
1999 - Post Doctoral Fellowship, Vascular Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL
1998 - Post Doctoral Fellowship, Peripheral Vascular Surgery Research Fellow, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL
1997 - Residency, General Surgery, Northwestern University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
1995 - Post Doctoral Fellowship, Vascular Surgery Research Fellow, Northwestern University Chicago, IL


Research: Our lab studies the inflammatory-mediated mechanisms of angiogenesis and skeletal muscle regeneration. We are particularly interested in how hematopoietic stem cells, myogenic stem cells and inflammatory cells interact to form muscle after injury. A better understanding of muscle regeneration will be useful in tissue regeneration strategies for limb salvage.


Photo Ross E. Willis, PhD
Associate Professor
Director of Surgical Education
Director, Johnson Center for Surgical Innovation
Department of Surgery, UT School of Medicine San Antonio

Email: willisr@uthscsa.edu
Laboratory Website: Surgical Education Research Laboratory


BS, Psychology, 1992, University of Texas at San Antonio
MA, Human Factors Psychology, 1995, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
PhD, Cognitive Psychology, 1999, Texas Tech University, Lubbock , TX


Dr. Willis's background is in cognition and learning theory, with a specific focus on applying theoretical principles of cognition to curriculum development and evaluation. During his tenure at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, he has worked on several projects applying theoretical principles such as deliberate practice, dual-coding theory of memory, generation effect, and proactive interference to the surgical education environment. The Surgical Education Research Laboratory is devoted to enhancing surgical education by empirically examining and applying principles of cognitive psychology and learning theory to the surgical education environment. Researchers in the laboratory develop and evaluate curricula, validate evaluation and assessment methods, and discover optimum methods of teaching and learning knowledge and skills.


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Cross-appointed Surgery Research Faculty


Photo Joel B. Baseman, PhD
Professor and Chairman, Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Email: baseman@uthscsa.edu
Website: Dept of Microbiology & Immunology
Phone: 210-567-3939 | Fax: 210-567-6491


Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, PhD, Microbiology, 1968
Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, MS, Microbiology, 1965
Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, BS, Biology-Chemistry, 1963


Research: Dr. Baseman's laboratory examines the molecular pathogenesis of microbial-mediated human disease, emphasizing the virulence potential of bacteria and the host response to bacterial infection. We study several pathogenic Mycoplasma species using a variety of experimental approaches. Mycoplasmas are biologically unique prokaryotes that are associated with common acute and chronic infections of the respiratory and genitourinary tracts, with dissemination to distant tissue sites. More about Dr. Baseman's research.


Photo Ken M. Hargreaves, DDS, PhD
Professor and Chair of Endodontics
Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology

Email: hargreaves@uthscsa.edu
Website: Dept of Pharmacology
Phone: 210-567-3381


Georgtown University, DDS
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, PhD


Research: Dr. Hargreaves' primary research interests are in the pharmacology of pain and inflammation. A major focus is on pharmacological regulation of unmyelinated "C" fiber nociceptors, as well as their plasticity in response to inflammation or nerve injury. Investigations are in progress evaluating the effects of cannabinoids, opioids, adrenergics, NPY, sex steroids and other drugs on regulating the activity of these fibers. In addition, his lab is working to identify major classes of inflammatory mediators and associated receptor/signal transduction systems which mediate activation, sensitization and phenotypic plasticity of these primary afferent fibers in response to tissue inflammation. Responses are measured using isolated superfused tissue, primary trigeminal cultures, microdialysis probes implanted in situ, RIA, EIA, real time PCR, Affymetrex analyses, IHC, ISH, confocal microscopy, behavior, etc.


Photo Peter Hornsby, PhD
Professor, Department of Physiology

Email: hornsby@uthscsa.edu
Website: Dr. Hornsby's Barshop Center lab
Phone: 210-562-5080 | Fax: 210-562-6110


Institute of Cancer Research of the University of London, England, PhD, Cell Biology
University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine Postdoctoral Studies, Biochemistry
University of Oxford, Oxford, England, BA, Animal Physiology


Research: Multipotent stem cells are now known to be present in almost every tissue of the human body. Fat is a particularly abundant and useful source of these cells. They have the potential to become bone, cartilage, muscle, blood vessels and nerves. Therefore, in theory they present an unprecedented opportunity for new methods of therapeutic repair of tissue injuries.


In this lab we use human stem cells implanted into a new type of profoundly immunodeficient mouse model, which is superior to others for accepting normal human cells as transplants. Using novel methods of bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging, including the use of innovative surgical techniques like skin windows, we are studying how to control the fate of stem cells, which is the key to being able to use them on a large scale in regenerative medicine.


Photo Joel Michalek, PhD
Professor, Center for Epidemiology and Statisstics

Email: michalekj@uthscsa.edu
Website: Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Phone: 210-567-0886 | Fax: 210-567-0921


MS, Mathematics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1968
PhD, Mathematical Statistics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1973(br>


Research: Dr. Michalek has 30 years experience in the analysis and reporting of clinical and epidemiological studies and 20 years experience as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. He has published papers in statistical methodology, clinical trials, and epidemiology, and his current interests include methods to analyze survival and count data in cross-over studies.


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