Dr. Derek Samples smiling for his staff photo.

Derek C. Samples, M.D.

Graduated 2021


B.S. Neuroscience – Trinity University (2005-2009)

Medical School

M.D. – University of Texas Health Science Center (2009-2013)

Graduate School

Surgical Internship – University of Texas Southwestern (2013-2014)
Residency – University of Texas Health Science Center, Department of Neurosurgery (2014-Present)

Professional Interests

Nov 2012 – May 2013 Department of Neurosurgery

Isolated Cervical Spinous Process Fractures: Are They Associated with Instability or Neurologic Injury? – In a single center retrospective review of 18,126 neurosurgical patients at a major academic medical center from 2005 to 2012, 96 adult patients with isolated cervical spinous process fractures were identified and analyzed for the presence of deficits and surgical intervention. We suggest that these fractures warrant neurosurgical consultation to exclude neurologic injury or instability, but specific treatment or long-term follow up may not be required for most cases.

Serum Tau Levels as a Biomarker for Traumatic Brain Injury

– Initial investigation of the alterations in Tau expression as a result of mild TBI. Utilizing a pneumatic impact model we aimed to evaluate Tau expression serum levels following multiple injuries to elucidate the potential role of the protein as a biomarker for TBI.

Utilization of Human Neurons for Pre-clinical Testing of Novel Stroke Therapies

Analysis, revision, and discussion of a departmental human brain tissue protocol for submission to a book chapter. In it we provide a procedure of acquiring human neuronal cells and advocate the use of an in vivo model, as it possesses several advantages over current animal models in the realm of novel stroke therapeutics.

May – Dec 2010 Department of Neurosurgery

Role of Telmisartan in an Ischemic Stroke Model

-Through use of a transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) mouse model we evaluated potential functions of Telmisartan. Pre-treated mice had smaller infarct volumes at 24 hours, and better behavioral performance compared to controls at 21 days. We concluded that telmisartan administered in the setting of acute stroke improves neurologic outcomes in our mouse model.

Professional Affiliations

Congress of Neurological Surgeons
American Medical Association

Awards & Accomplishments

Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society
UTHSCSA Alumni Association Merit Award
Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society