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Surgery Research News

Congratulations to J. Bradley Aust Surgical Society Resident Papers Competition Winners! (2018-06-18)

Dr. Al Fayyadh Earns MSCI Degree! (2018-05-30)

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

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
Full Biosketch


Dr. Schwacha joins us from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he had been an Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery, Pathology and Microbiology. He received his PhD from Albany Medical College, Albany NY in 1992 and completed postdoctoral studies at the Gamble Institute, Cincinnati, OH and Temple University, Philadelphia, PA prior to joining the Surgery faculty at Brown University, Providence, RI in 1997. Dr. Schwacha's research has been presented at numerous scientific meetings and as an invited speaker and visiting professor. He has served on a number of NIH special emphasis panels and as a science/research advisor for other professional organizations. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine as well as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other professional journals. His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.


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
Full Biosketch


Dr. Nicholson earned a B.S. in Biology with Distinction at Duke University in 2000 where she graduated cum laude. She completed her medical degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2005 and her General Surgery residency in 2013. During her residency, she also completed a research fellowship, earned a Master's degree in Clinical Investigation (UTHSCSA, 2009) and was awarded a NIH Loan Repayment Award for her research in the role of endogenous carbon monoxide and hemoperitoneum following trauma. She completed a fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at UTHSCSA in 2014 and is board certified in General Surgery. Dr. Nicholson's current research focuses 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. Additionally, she has research interests in 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
Full Biosketch


Biosketch: 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
Full Biosketch


Paula K. Shireman, MD, MS is an academic vascular surgeon and physician scientist in the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System where she is a tenured Professor in the Departments of Surgery and Microbiology & Immunology, holds the Dielmann Chair in Surgery and serves as the Scientific Advisor for Clinical Trials Xpress. She obtained her MD from Indiana University and MS in Clinical investigation at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. Her research interests are in muscle regeneration, imaging modalities to study extremity injuries and outcomes of vascular trauma. Her health services research studies the long term outcomes of extremity vascular trauma in Active Service and Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation New Dawn as well as care transitions and health care system improvement. She is the Co-Principal Investigator of the Institutional Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) responsible for strategic partnership with our CTSA affiliated institutions, biostatistics, study design and biomedical informatics cores, and evaluation of all CTSA programs. She incorporated Lean Six Sigma methods into research administration to streamline processes and increase efficiency. Dr. Shireman has been active in the development of a centralized clinical trials office for the University of Texas System, Clinical Trials Xpress, which utilizes a centralized IRB, master clinical trial agreements and single, centrally-negotiated clinical trial budget and shared Medicare coverage analysis to improve efficiency and decrease the regulatory burden of clinical trials. She has extensive experience in team building, research and administration. Dr. Shireman has presented on two panels for the Institute of Medicine regarding sharing clinical trial data. Dr. Shireman’s research is primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health, Veterans Administration and Department of Defense.


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
Full Biosketch


Dr. Willis holds a master's degree in human factors psychology and a doctoral degree in cognitive psychology from Texas Tech University. Dr. Willis's primary roles are curriculum development and evaluation and conducting research on applying principles of learning theory to the world of surgical education.


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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



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


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


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


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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