"Optimizing Combat Casualty Care"
Shanmugasundaram Natesan, Ph.D., left, listens to Daniel Cooper, a UTSA student as he talks about his research project during the first ISR/UTSA day October 9.

Shanmugasundaram Natesan, Ph.D., left, listens to Daniel Cooper, a UTSA student as he talks about his research project during the first ISR/UTSA day October 9. Photo by Steven Galvan

ISR, UTSA Gather for First ISR/UTSA Day

By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
4 NOV 2013

Staff members from the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) along with faculty and students from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) held the first USAISR/UTSA Day October 9. The event hosted at the USAISR was designed to promote an exchange of information between investigators from both organizations and to encourage further collaboration in regenerative and biomedicine research.

“This type of event is important because it creates synergy in research and prevents duplicative research efforts,” said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Michael R. Davis, USAISR Deputy Commander and reconstructive surgeon at the San Antonio Military Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas. “It also enables joint efforts in seeking research funding in an environment that is more and more competitive.”

The agenda focused on opportunities to transform microbiology, stem cell research and tissue engineering into novel regenerative medicine advancement for treating battlefield trauma included oral presentations by UTSA faculty investigators as well as poster presentations by students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty.

John McCarrey, Ph.D., Director at the San Antonio Cellular Therapeutics Institute Department of Biology UTSA stated that events like this can lead to new, productive interactions and collaborations between investigators from both institutes.

“Although we know that each institute exists and that there are certain scientific or biomedical interests held by individuals at each institute, we cannot fully appreciate the depth of our mutual interests and/or the extent of overlap that may exist among us until we take the time to get together so that we can hear about what each of us is really doing,” McCarrey said.

Davis and McCarrey believe that this event was beneficial for both institutes.

“The event went very well and accomplished everything that we hoped it would,” said McCarrey. “It has been clear to me for some time that there is significant overlap[ in research interests among investigators at UTSA and ISR and that we have yet to take full advantage of the potential to interact and collaborate to fully exploit these common interests.”

Davis agreed and went on to say that this event also served as a stepping stone for two upcoming conferences focusing on regenerative medicine and stem cell research.

“Both the ISR and UTSA will have strong presence there,” said Davis, referring to the Regenerative Medicine conference in February and the 2014 World Stem Cell Summit both to be held in San Antonio. “Academic leaders, industry and Department of Defense researchers will come together to share their research.”

As a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick, Md., the USAISR strives to be the nation’s premier joint research organization planning and executing registry-based and translational research providing innovative solutions for burn, trauma, and combat casualty care from the point of injury through rehabilitation.