Research Team

Robert A. De Lorenzo, MD, MSCI, MSM, FACEP
Professor of Emergency Medicine, Research Director

Currently at UT Health San Antonio (UTHSA) he also holds the position of Vice Chair of Faculty Development.  Additionally he is an Adjoint Faculty Member in the Joint Graduate Program in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio & UTHSA. Dr. De Lorenzo completed his emergency medicine residency at Wright State University and completed fellowships in EMS and research. He has been board certified in emergency medicine for nearly 25 years. He is the author of two textbooks in emergency medical services and has published over 200 scientific papers, medical articles, and textbook chapters. He retired from the US Army with after a career spanning 32 years including two combat tours in Iraq. He is past president of the Government Services Chapter of ACEP and past Chair of the Public health and Injury Prevention Committee. Dr. De Lorenzo has been invited to serve on numerous national-level advisory panels including the US Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, National Guard Bureau, Department of Defense, and Department of Transportation. His professional interests include research in airway management, acute preoperative management of open fractures, simulation modeling for life saving interventions, traumatic brain injury, intraosseous infusions, and medical device evaluations. Dr. De Lorenzo resides in San Antonio.

William G. Fernandez, MD, MPH, MS
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Assistant Research Director

He also chairs the department’s Quality Improvement/Patient Safety Committee, which facilitates the Morbidity and Mortality Conference.  Dr. Fernandez received his medical degree from the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, and completed his training in emergency medicine at the New York University School of Medicine/Bellevue Hospital Center. Dr. Fernandez earned a Master in Public Health degree in Population & Family Health from the Columbia University School of Public Health, and a Master in Science degree in Health Services Research from the Department of Health Management, Law and Policy at the Boston University School of Public Health.  In collaboration with others, he hopes to advance the emergency care research agenda at UTHealth San Antonio. Dr. Fernandez’s academic interests are centered around quality improvement and patient safety. He is a Section Editor for the ED Administration, Quality and Safety section of the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine; and is a reviewer for several peer-reviewed academic journals. Apart from his academic and clinical pursuits, Dr. Fernandez retired from the US Navy Reserves after serving for over 20 years. He is a devoted husband and father. He enjoys fishing, scuba diving, and travel.

Alexander Hood

Alex Hood, B.A.
Research Area Specialist, Associate

In this position Alex primarily supports the Placement of Antibiotic Powder in Wounds During the Emergency Room (POWDER) Study. He is responsible for patient recruitment, obtaining informed consent at both University Hospital and BAMC EDs and Trauma clinics. He performs all study-related tasks, including screening and enrolling subjects, monitoring and recording patient outcomes, ensuring ongoing IRB compliance, managing subject data, and patient specimen processing. In addition to his work on the POWDER study, Alex briefly served as interim study coordinator for the Clinical Trial of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma for Outpatients (C3PO) NIH study, and currently assists with pre-award grant management for multiple projects. Prior to coming to UT Health San Antonio, Alex received his BA in Psychology and Liberal Arts Honors with high honors from the University of Texas at Austin. He volunteered on multiple research projects in the field of clinical psychology during his undergraduate career. Outside of work, Alex produces artworks (predominantly landscapes) in oils and in digital media, is a singer/songwriter, and is an avid outdoorsman, hiker, and biker.

Juan Laporta

Juan Laporta
Research Area Specialist, Associate

Juan is the project manager for the Placement of Antibiotic Powder in Wounds During the Emergency Room (POWDER) Study and a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. His experience and background have been an asset in research study coordination, grants management and development. He was born in Argentina and lived in South Florida before moving to San Antonio. He attended the University of Florida, majoring in Applied Physiology and later received a Graduate Certificate in Medical Physiology from the University of Florida College of Medicine. He has worked in the departments of neurosurgery and neurology at the University of Florida, and now in Emergency Medicine at UT Health San Antonio. Through his time in research, he has curated a diverse skill set that not only comprises of clinical research, but wet-lab research, grantsmanship, understanding of regulatory oversight, data management & analysis, and quality assurance. He enjoys cooking, camping, vehicle restoration, and biking. He hopes to continue to apply his skills and research experience in medical school.

Patricia Sanchez

Patricia Sanchez
Administrative Assistant Associate

Patricia supports Dr. Robert  A. De Lorenzo and the Research Team.  Facilitating and assisting:  Research endeavors – Faculty Development –Previous Experience:  15+ yrs. of Administrative Assistance experience, SA, TX., Bexar Credentials Verification, Credentialing, SA, TX, Bexar Credentials Verification, Operations Manager, SA, TX, Victory Medical Center San Antonio, Credentialing, SA, TX, Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital of San Antonio, Credentialing, SA, TX.

Naomi Williams, BSN, RN
Clinical Research Program Manager

Naomi Williams is the Clinical Research Program Manager for the Department of Emergency Medicine. She comes to our team from BAMC, working closely with our military members in out-patient clinical trials. She has managed industry-sponsored portfolios, NCI cooperative research and assisted staff in research protocol development. Naomi is actively pursuing a doctorate in nursing through UTHSCSA School of Nursing, FNP track. She is an active volunteer at UTHSCSA student-run SAMM shelter and refugee clinics. She is a prior Army veteran, wife of an active-duty Army officer, and mother of an active-duty Army soldier. In her free time, she enjoys backpacking and hiking.