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Trauma & Emergency Surgery Research


Photo of Dr. NicholsonSusannah Nicholson, MD, MSCI
Assistant Professor/Research
Director, Research Operations


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.




Trauma and Emergency Surgery Research Staff


Photo of Rachelle Jonas Rachelle Babbitt Jonas, RN, BSN
Manager, Research Operations

Mrs. Jonas, a Registered Nurse, completed her Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing from Texas Tech University Health Science Center in Lubbock, Texas in 2001. She joined the trauma research staff at the Health Science Center in 2004.




Photo Mark DeRosa, CRT, CCRC
Clinical Research Project Manager

Mr. DeRosa, a Respiratory Therapist, completed his training with the U.S. Air Force and California College for Health Sciences. He is a Certified Clinical Research Coordinator with over 20 years of research experience. He has been with the Health Science Center since 2005.



Photo Meenakshi Rani, PhD
Research Scientist

Meenakshi Rani is a research scientist. Meenakshi completed her PhD in 2006 in the laboratory of Prof. Ulrich F. Schade from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Her studies demonstrated the activation of monocyte, macrophages and dendritic cells by GM-CSF after hemorrhagic shock and during polymicrobial sepsis. Dr. Rani completed her post-doctoral work with Dr. Michael T. Berton in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UTHSCSA where she examined signaling pathways critical in the inflammatory response (i.e., ERK1/2 and P38 MAPK) in a Francisella tularensis infection model. Dr. Rani works closely with Dr. Schwacha on different projects on γδ T-cells after burn and developed a project to examine the role of this unique T-cell subset after hemorrhagic shock. Currently, she is also working with trauma research staff on different clinical research projects. To date she has published 17 peer-reviewed manuscripts and more than 30 abstracts and currently have one manuscript under revision. In April 2013, she was awarded by the American Burn Association (ABA) as the Lonza Award recipient for one of her manuscript that is published in the journal of American Burn Association. The Lonza award is targeted to young investigators and recognizes excellence in burn wound coverage. She has also received travel grants to present her work and won the poster award at different scientific conferences.



Photo Naresh B. Talathoti, B.Sc., MBBS
Clinical Research Project Manager

Dr. Talathoti completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at Rangaraya Medical College in Kakinada, India in 1997. He worked as a House Physician at Medwin Hospitals in Hyderbad, India 1997-1999. He served as Senior Lecturer at Spartan Health Sciences University, School of Medicine on the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia from 1999-2002. He started his clinical research career after moving to New York in 2002 at Columbia University Medical Center. He joined the UTHSCSA Trauma Research Staff in January 2016.



Photo Stephanie DeMoor, BS
Research Associate

Ms. DeMoor completed her undergraduate education at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. She worked as a medical scribe in multiple emergency departments across the country before moving into clinical research. She joined the trauma research team at the UTHSCSA in 2015.



Photo Ryan Wallace, BS
Research Associate

Mr. Wallace earned a B.S. in Biology from Southeastern Louisiana University with a minor in Spanish. He worked as a medical scribe prior to joining the trauma research staff at the UT Health Science Center in 2016.



Photo Santiago Pedraza
Research Associate

Mr. Pedraza served as a Public Health Technician in the U.S. Air Force for 8 years. He received training and education from the U.S. Air Force and the University of Maryland. He worked as a Research Assistant for UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas for almost 13 years. Mr. Pedraza also worked as a Public Health Educator for Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas for over 5 years and joined the UTHSC trauma research staff in 2017.



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