Program Description

Our residents have the opportunity to spend one, two, or three additional years doing clinical, translational, and/or basic science research between the clinical PG2 and PG3 years. Conducting research during residency is highly recommended; however, it is not required. During these research years the department may elect to sponsor and pay tuition costs for the research resident to complete a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation-Translational Science (MSCI-TS).

This research experience can set the stage for a productive academic career, propel the resident to a top fellowship, or simply allow the young surgeon an opportunity to learn what really goes into research so that he/she may evaluate medical literature more critically. Regardless of a surgeon’s ultimate career path, we believe that time spent in research should complement the clinical training and make one a better surgeon over the long term.

Research opportunities are at the discretion of the resident and can be mentored by faculty within the Department of Surgery or in conjunction with other departments. Some residents have even chosen to do research at other institutions. Past resident research projects have been in the realms of bench science, clinical research, education, and public health policy.

Surgical Research Conferences

12 noon Thursdays, Room 221E

Each week residents who are currently on research assignment will present their work and receive feedback from faculty on their research design, method, data analysis, and interpretation. Surgery faculty, residents and students who wish to rehearse a research presentation to better prepare for a meeting are encouraged to schedule an opportunity to do so at this meeting.

Master of Science in Clinical Investigation-Translational Science

Conducted through the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the UT Health San Antonio, the MSCI-TS degree program offers coursework and mentored research for degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students. UT Health San Antonio faculty members, staff, students, residents and fellows are invited to apply for the Master of Science in Clinical Investigation-Translational Science (MSCI-TS) degree program.

Visit MSCI-TS website

Dr. Nicholson earned a BS in Biology with Distinction at Duke University where she graduated cum laude. She completed her medical degree, General Surgery residency, and fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at UT Health San Antonio. She is board certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. Dr. Nicholson was awarded a Mentored Research Career Development Award in Clinical & Translational Science 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 outcomes. Her primary research focuses on investigating the relationships among the immune system, inflammation, the gut microbiome, the functional, metabolic and physiologic consequences, and patient outcomes following trauma and hemorrhagic shock. As the Director of Clinical Research, she directs an active translational research program involved in a wide range of trauma-related clinical research studies many of which she has also served as principal investigator and co-investigator. These prospective and retrospective studies range from resuscitation with whole blood in the context of traumatic injury and hemorrhagic shock to the use of the Compensatory Reserve Index in trauma to traumatic brain injury. Collaborators include academic institutions and research organizations as well as members of San Antonio’s civilian-military trauma system, including the US Army Institute of Surgical Research, Brook Army Medical Center and the USAF 59th Medical Wing. Through her roles as surgeon scientist and Trauma Research Director, she has also been able to develop fruitful collaborative research endeavors with fellow clinicians and basic scientists. Most notably, she established the multi-institutional Trauma Research Think Tank, which meets monthly, to foster collaboration between institutions in the South Texas region on research involving injury, shock, sepsis and critical illness. Dr. Nicholson also enjoys mentoring and teaching students, residents and fellows.

Susannah E. Nicholson, MD, MS, FACS,
Associate Professor,
Director of Trauma Research,
Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery
Dr. Ferdinand P. Herff Chair in Surgery
Associate Program Director for Research for the General Surgery Residency

Current Residents

Residents for the 2021-2022 Academic Year.