Division Faculty

Established in 1993 to centralize and improve the care of trauma victims in Bexar County and the surrounding 22-county region in South Texas, the Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery is currently composed of ten full-time and two part-time faculty surgeons, four Physician Assistants and five Nurse Practitioners.

Brian J. Eastridge, M.D.  |  Email

Professor / Clinical | Division Chief | Jocelyn and Joe Straus Endowed Chair in Trauma Research

Trauma and Emergency Surgery

COL. Brian J. Eastridge, MD, received his BS in biochemistry from Virginia Tech in 1985 and his M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1989. He entered the US Army Reserve as a second lieutenant Medical Service Corps officer in 1988. COL Eastridge did his residency in general surgery at the University of Maryland Medical System and then pursued fellowship training in surgical critical care at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. During his tenure on the academic faculty at UTSW, COL Eastridge was deployed three times in support of combat operations Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom as a U.S Army Reserve surgeon in 2002, 2003, and 2004. During his deployment in 2004, he was appointed as the first Joint Theater Trauma System Director. COL Eastridge matriculated to active duty U.S Army in 2005 and served as Trauma Medical Director for the Brooke Army Medical Center, Surgical Critical Care Program Director for SAUSHEC, Director of the Joint Trauma System (U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research of the U.S. Army’s Medical Research and Material Command (MRMC), and Trauma Consultant to the US Army Surgeon General. During his active duty service, he was deployed two more times to combat in Southwest Asia during which time he leads the development and implementation of the military trauma system. During his career, COL Eastridge has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature and edited three books focused upon improving the military trauma system and improving combat casualty care outcomes for our Wounded Warriors. COL Eastridge left active service and returned to the active US Army Reserves in late 2012 and is currently the DCCS of the 228th Combat Support Hospital. His military awards and decorations include the Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Badge, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. He is a member of Order of Military Medical Merit. For his military service, he has been awarded the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma Honorary Medal for Combat Surgical Care in 2004 and the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Combat Casualty Care Program Award for Excellence in 2011.

Currently, Dr. Eastridge is Professor of Surgery at UT Health San Antonio and the Division Chief of Trauma and Emergency Surgery. He holds the Jocelyn and Joe Straus Endowed Chair in Trauma Research. His current research interests are currently focused on trauma system development, including the development of the regional trauma system performance improvement initiatives, predictive modeling of injury outcomes, and improved pre-hospital resuscitation strategies for casualties.

John G. Myers, M.D.  |  Email

Professor/Clinical | Dr. Arthur S. and Iris G. McFee Professor | Department of Surgery Vice Chair for Clinical Operations | Immediate Past Chief of Staff, University Hospital, San Antonio, TX | OR Medical Director for University Hospital, San Antonio, TX

Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Myers received a BA in Biology (1986) and a Masters in Clinical Gerontology (1988) from Baylor University and his medical degree from UT Health San Antonio in 1992. He completed his General Surgery residency training at UT Health San Antonio in 1999, at which time he joined the faculty in the Trauma and Emergency Surgery Division. He completed a Surgical Critical Care fellowship in 2002 and is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. He was the Division Chief of Trauma and Emergency Surgery from 2007 until 2017, at which time he assumed the role of Vice Chair of Clinical Operations for the Department. He was the Division Chief of Trauma and Emergency Surgery from 2007 until 2017, at which time he assumed the role of Vice Chair of Clinical Operations for the Department. He has served as the Chief of Staff at University Hospital. He is the OR Medical Director and serves on numerous other committees there and at UT Health San Antonio.  His current interests include predictive modeling, trauma diagnostics, outcomes studies, process improvement, and protocol development.

Donald H. Jenkins, M.D., FACS  |  Email

Professor/Clinical, | Vice Chair for Quality, Department of Surgery | Betty and Bob Kelso Distinguished Chair in Burn and Trauma Surgery | Associate Deputy Director, Military Health Institute

Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Jenkins completed his undergraduate education at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry in 1984. He went on to attend and graduate from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He completed a general surgery internship at Wilford Hall U.S. Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Following a three-year assignment, he returned to Wilford Hall and completed his general surgery residency in 1996. Following Wilford Hall, he then went to the University of Pennsylvania where he completed a trauma/critical care fellowship. Following his fellowship, Dr. Jenkins went on to serve as the Trauma Medical Director for the 59th Medical Wing at Lackland Air Force Base (Wilford Hall Medical Center).

Dr. Jenkins served our country as an officer in the US Air Force from 1984-2008. He was the Trauma Medical Director at Wilford Hall Medical Center’s Level I trauma center. Following the attack on 9/11/2001, he became the principal architect of the Joint Trauma Theater Trauma System in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his service he was deployed five times, two as the Trauma Director of the Joint Trauma System in Iraq and Afghanistan. Colonel Jenkins was prominently and repeatedly honored by the US Air Force. He received almost every award that can be given to a physician by the US Air Force. Dr. Jenkin’s work in the Joint Trauma Theater Trauma System dramatically improved the care of the wounded, coalition service men and women. This system also provided a great deal of care to wounded civilians in both countries. When the wars broke out in Afghanistan and Iraq the US Department of Defense had no trauma system in place, and many of the lessons of Vietnam were long forgotten. Dr. Jenkins and a small number of colleagues built, from the ground up, the most sophisticated and successful military trauma system in the history of warfare. It is not hyperbole to state that Don Jenkins personally got this system off the ground and then placed it on a trajectory that has saved thousands of lives. Dr. Jenkins experience, expertise and leadership style was absolutely critical to this endeavor. In 2008, Dr. Jenkins left active duty to become the trauma medical director of the Mayo Clinic’s Level I trauma center. Dr. Jenkins expertise in trauma system development is evident throughout Minnesota. Before moving to San Antonio and joining our faculty, he effectively transformed the Minnesota Trauma System into one of the best trauma care systems in the world. Dr. Jenkins has a stellar national and international reputation. The Mayo Clinic is clearly one of the most recognized and respected medical organizations in the world. The reputation of the Mayo Clinic is remarkable for quality, expertise, commitment to the patient, and innovation. Dr. Jenkin’s reputation is remarkable for the same characteristics: quality, expertise, commitment to the patient, innovation, and integrity. He has been president of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma (one of the three most prominent, academic trauma/acute care surgical societies in the country) and he currently serves on the Foundation Board of the organizations. He is the immediate past chair of the National Trauma Institute, where he was also a founding member. He served as Vice Chair of the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Committee and is Chair of the Southern Minnesota Regional Advisory Committee. He was president of the Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons. He is on the editorial board of the American Journal of Disaster Medicine and serves as a reviewer for six other national peer-reviewed journals. He is Chair of the American College of Surgeons Performance Improvement and Patient Safety Committee of the ACS Committee on Trauma. He has given many national and regional presentations in his field of study. He has published 86 peer-reviewed publications, provided 5 invited editorials/commentaries, and published 15 book chapters.

In 2014, Dr. Jenkins was presented with the highest honor that The American Legion can bestow, the Distinguished Service Medal, at their 96th National Convention. Some previous recipients of this award include Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, George W. Bush; Gen. Colin Powell; Drs. Michael E. Debakey and Howard Rusk; Senators Orin Hatch and Richard Lugar; and Henry Kissinger.

Lillian Liao, M.D., MPH  |  Email

Associate Professor/Clinical | Pediatric Trauma Medical Director | University Hospital Pediatric Trauma and Burn Director

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Liao studied Economics and graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin where she was a member of the Dean’s Scholars Program. She completed a Masters of Public Health Degree focusing on Health Economics. Dr. Liao graduated from the Long School of Medicine UT Health San Antonio in 2004 and surgical training at UT Health San Antonio in 2011. Dr. Liao is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. She joined the Department of Surgery at UT Health San Antonio in 2011.

Dr. Liao is the Pediatric Trauma and Burn Director at University Hospital. Under her leadership, University Hospital became the only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in San Antonio and South Texas caring for seriously injured children. Clinically, Dr. Liao is interested in the care of the unique populations of injured patients: children, women, and the elderly.

Ronald M. Stewart, M.D.  |  Email

Professor  | Chair, Department of Surgery  | Dr. Witten B. Russ Chair in Surgery

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Ronald M. Stewart completed medical school and surgical residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He then completed a Trauma and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Returning to San Antonio in 1993, he established and build University Health System’s trauma program. He currently serves as the Chair of the Department of Surgery, holding the Dr. Witten B. Russ Endowed Chair in Surgery at UT Health San Antonio.

Over the past three decades, he has actively led the development of an integrated civilian-military trauma system that serves all of South Texas, covering more than 26,000 square miles.

In 2001 Dr. Stewart was appointed by then Governor George W. Bush to the Texas Governors EMS and Trauma Advisory Council where he served for 15 years as the Chair of the Trauma Systems Committee. He was a founding member and the first Chair of the National Trauma Institute. For the past 20 years he has served on the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT), serving at the as the national Chair of the ACS Committee on Trauma from March, 2014 to March, 2018.  He is currently the ACS’s Medical Director of Trauma Programs.

In 2013 Dr. Stewart was the recipient of the National Safety Council’s Surgeons Award for Service to Safety, and the American College of Surgeon’s Arthur Ellenberger Award for Excellence in State Advocacy. He is the immediate past President of the Southwestern Surgical Congress and the President of the Texas Surgical Society.

During his tenure as the ACS COT Chair, he and the COT have spearheaded a plan to implement a National Trauma Action Plan aimed at eliminating preventable trauma deaths by 1) improving trauma systems, 2) increasing high quality trauma research,3) increasing the quality of trauma patient data and 4) advancing trauma education and training in both military and civilian settings. Additionally, he and the COT have worked to lead an approach to firearm injury prevention that has encouraged a collegial, professional and substantive dialogue from surgeons and citizens from all points of view with the goal of reducing the burden of firearm injury and death.

Harlan D. Root, M.D.  |  Email

Clinical Professor

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Root completed his undergraduate degree and then his medical degree at Cornell Medical School in 1953 and his residency at the University of Minnesota in 1961. He joined the faculty of UT Health San Antonio in 1966 and is a founder of the Department of Surgery. His many offices at the University, each held for over 20 years, have included Emergency Center Medical Director, Trauma Director, Chief of Vascular Surgery, Surgical Residency Director and Deputy Surgery Chairman. During his career, he has been Governor-at-large from South Texas on the ACS Board of Governors, been a member of the ACS Committee on Trauma Verification Review, and served as President of the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. He is currently on the editorial board, Journal of Trauma; a national consultant to the ACS Verification Review Committee; and a reviewer for the American Journal of Surgery. He continues to take trauma call and serves as advisor and mentor to students, residents, fellows, and faculty. His areas of research interest included angioscopy in vein preparation and repair, vascular problems and endothelial growth factor, trauma injury detection in trauma patients, and blood volume changes in the injured patient.

Daniel L. Dent, M.D.  |  Email

Distinguished Teaching Professor | General Surgery Residency Program Director | Professor of Surgery

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Dent completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duke University and obtained his medical degree at the University of South Florida. He subsequently completed his residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis; his residency included an additional year of research in Trauma and Nutrition Support. He joined the faculty in 1996 and has received numerous teaching excellence awards. As a result of his commitment to surgical and medical education, he was named a Distinguished Teaching Professor. Dr. Dent’s research focus is on trauma, autotransfusion, surgical infection, and surgical education. He is the Program Director for the UT Health San Antonio Surgery Residency. He is the Past President of the Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) and the APDS representative to the Organization of Program Director Associations. He is a Director of the American Board of Surgery and the Vice Chair of the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors (ACS-BoG).  He has previously served on the Executive Committee of the ACS-BoG as the Lead of the Education Pillar overseeing the Surgical Training, Continuing Education, and Patient Education Workgroups.

Deborah L. Mueller, M.D.  |  Email

Clinical Associate Professor

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Mueller completed a bachelor’s degree in Biology at the University of South Carolina and obtained her medical degree at the Medical University of South Carolina. She completed her active duty Air Force general surgery residency at Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio TX followed by a fellowship in surgical critical care at UT Southwestern in Dallas TX. Dr. Mueller then returned to Wilford Hall Medical Center as a faculty member from 1998-2007 where she held the positions of Medical Director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Vice Chairman for the Department of General Surgery, and Director of Surgical Research. She also participated extensively in trauma and disaster training for surgeons on five different continents. Dr. Mueller deployed in support of Operation Allied Force and Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2007, she transitioned to the Air Force Reserves and joined the faculty at UTHSCSA. In 2013 she retired from the Air Force at the rank of Colonel after 25 years of service. Her research interests include blood transfusion, ventilator-associated pneumonia, enterocutaneous fistulas, complex abdominal wall reconstruction, and pediatric trauma.

Ramon F. Cestero, M.D., MBA, FACS, FCCM  |  Email

Associate Professor / Clinical | Program Director, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship | Program Director, Executive Development Program | Program Director, Executive Health EMBA Program 

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Cestero received his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego. He completed his general surgery residency at the University of California, San Francisco – East Bay in 2003, followed by fellowships in Trauma Surgery in 2009 and Surgical Critical Care in 2010 at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California. Dr. Cestero is board certified in both general surgery and surgical critical care. During his time at Los Angeles County/USC, Dr. Cestero was awarded two commendations from the County of Los Angeles for his efforts as team leader of the LAC/USC Haiti Trauma/Critical Care Task Force after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. From 2003 to 2013, Dr. Cestero served as an active duty Navy surgeon and served as Department Head, Combat Casualty Care Research at the US Naval Medical Research Unit in San Antonio. Throughout his Navy career, Dr. Cestero has completed multiple combat surgical deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and served as the Chief of Trauma for the NATO Role 3 Combat Hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2012. His military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, and Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Surgery at UT Health San Antonio, Medical Director of the Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit, and Program Director of the Surgical Critical Care fellowship as well as the Trauma Surgery fellowship. Additionally, he is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons as well as the American College of Critical Care Medicine, and he is Vice Chair of the South Texas American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. He is also the Program Director of the UTHSA School of Medicine Executive Leadership Program, including the Executive MBA for Health Professionals and the Executive Development Program for Emerging Health Leaders. As the inventor of a novel surgical retractor and in coordination with UT Health San Antonio, he has successfully licensed the technology to a medical device company. His research interests include clinical trauma care, critical care diagnostics, surgical device development, and medical leadership and management.

Susannah E. Nicholson, M.D., MS, FACS  |  Email

Assistant Professor/Research  | Director, Research Operations

Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

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 (UT Health San Antonio, 2009) and was awarded an 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 UT Health San Antonio 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.

Mark T. Muir, M.D.

Assistant Professor/Clinical  | Trauma Medical Director, University Hospital

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Muir graduated with Honors in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 2000. He earned a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas in 2006 and was elected to AOA. While in medical school, he completed a year-long Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship. He then completed a residency in general surgery at UT Health San Antonio in 2013, during which time he spent two years as an NIH T32 research fellow and received a Master’s degree in Clinical Investigation (2010). His research fellowship resulted in a grant from the National Trauma Institute for a multicenter study of Mycoplasma pneumonia in the ICU. He completed a fellowship in Surgical Critical Care at UT Health San Antonio n 2014 and subsequently joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery. He is the Trauma Medical Director for University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. He is board certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care.

Christopher E. Crane, M.D., MS  |  Email

Assistant Professor/Clinical | Emergency Surgery Director, University Hospital

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Crane was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas where he was an all American swimmer, and he earned his BS with a dual major in Biology and Chemistry in 2002. After college, he lived and worked in Little Rock, Arkansas where he did multiple myeloma research at the Myeloma Institute for Research Therapy. He continued his education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where he received his MS in Anatomy and Neurodevelopmental Sciences. Dr. Crane attended medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and earned his MD in 2010. He remained at UAMS where he completed his General Surgery Residency in June 2015. He then moved to San Antonio, Texas and completed the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in June 2016 and subsequently joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Trauma & Emergency Surgery.

Elizabeth P. Scherer, M.D., MPH  |  Email

Assistant Professor/Clinical  | Medical Director, SICU, University Hospital

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Scherer was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She attended Mount Holyoke College in Western Massachusetts where she earned a BA in Chemistry in 2004. She moved to New Haven, Connecticut following college where she attended Yale University School of Epidemiology and Public Health. She completed an internship between her first and second year at the Government Accountability Office in Washington, DC. In 2006, Dr. Scherer earned her MPH with a focus in Health Policy and Administration. She completed her basic science courses for medical school in College Station, Texas at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. She had the opportunity to complete her clinical years at Scott & White in Temple and earned her MD in May of 2010. Dr. Scherer completed her General Surgery Residency at UT Health San Antonio in June 2015 after spending her last year as one of two peer-elected Administrative Chief Residents. Dr. Scherer completed the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in June 2016 and subsequently joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Trauma & Emergency Surgery.

Ashley C. McGinity, M.D.  |  Email

Assistant Professor/Clinical

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. McGinity is from Waco, Texas. She attended undergrad at Samford University and graduated with a degree in sports medicine in 2007. She attended medical school at the UT Health San Antonio. She completed her general surgery residency at UT Health San Antonio in 2016 and was selected by her peers as one of two administrative chief residents for the year. Dr. McGinity has served in leadership roles within the general surgery department and at University Hospital. She has been actively involved in medical school education, graduate medical education committees and quality improvement at University Hospital and the VA. Dr. McGinity completed her Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at UT Health San Antonio in 2017 and subsequently joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery.

Maxwell A. Braverman, D.O.

Clinical Instructor

The Division of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

Dr. Braverman was born and raised in West Bloomfield, MI. In 2009, he graduated with a BS in Chemistry from the Lyman Briggs School at Michigan State University. While studying at Michigan State, he conducted research into metal organic polymer synthesis and co-authored several peer-reviewed manuscripts. After earning his DO degree from Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University in 2013, he began his general surgery residency at Christiana Care Health System in Newark, DE. During residency, he conducted research in Geriatric Trauma and Trauma Systems, and held multiple leadership positions, including serving as Administrative Chief Resident. Dr. Braverman has been active in medical student and resident education and has received multiple awards for excellence in teaching. He completed his Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at UT Health San Antonio in July of 2019 and is currently a Clinical Instructor for the Division of Trauma & Emergency Surgery.

Adjunct/Adjoint Faculty – Division of Trauma & Emergency Surgery

Leopoldo Cancio, M.D.,
Adjoint Professor
M.D., Georgetown University, 1987

Christopher White, M.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
M.D., UT Health San Antonio, 1997

Shawn Nessen, M.D.,
Adjoint Professor
D.O., the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, 1995

Reinaldo Morales, M.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
M.D., St. Louis University School of Medicine, 2010

Valerie Sams, M.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
M.D., St. George’s University, Greneda, West Indies, 2008

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