Team Biographies

Jeffrey W. Shupp, MD

Jeffrey W. Shupp MD is the Research Director for the Burn Research Center at MedStar Health Research Institute. He is also the Director of the Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.  He is the founding investigator at the Firefighters' Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory. Dr. Shupp is an Associate Professor of Surgery, Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology at Georgetown University School of Medicine with similar appointments in Biomedical Engineering at The Catholic University of America and the Department of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.


Dr. Shupp specializes in treating burn patients, trauma to the skin, including electrical and chemical injuries, complex wounds, and other skin disorders that result in skin loss, such as toxic epidermal necrolysis and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.  He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia.


Some of his research interests include: surgical infections, coagulopathies after injury, inhalation injury, wound healing, biophotonics, burn pathophysiology, host response to traumatic injury, and abnormal wound healing such as hypertrophic scar. Dr. Shupp’s research program encompasses all aspects of burn research (multi-center clinical trials, pre-clinical, translational, and basic science research). His research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), and many corporate and foundation sponsors. Additionally, his laboratory receives generous philanthropic support from local foundations.


Click on the link below to view a comprehensive list of Dr. Shupp's research papers available through the PubMed database.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Shupp+J

Lauren T. Moffatt, Ph.D

Dr. Lauren Moffatt serves as Director of the Firefighters' Burn and Surgical Research Lab. Her core responsibilities include overseeing and implementing scientific research within the lab. She also works as a liaison with numerous public & private sector groups to explore and conduct collaborative research opportunities and garner funding for the program. Dr. Moffatt received her Ph.D in Animal Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences specializing in Environmental Toxicology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2008 and attended University of Maryland, College Park as an undergraduate. She is active in various professional societies include the Wound Healing Society, Surgical Infection Society, and the American Burn Association (ABA).  She serves as the Chair of the ABA’s Research Committee and is the first non-physician to be in this role. Currently, Dr. Moffatt is also chair and scientific member of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) for Medstar Health Research Institute.

Melissa M. McLawhorn, RN, BSN

Melissa is the clinical research program manager for the Firefighters’ Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory.  She began overseeing social science research projects while earning dual bachelor degrees in Psychology and Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill.  She then went on to graduate from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  Her nursing professional development has focused on managing the care of complex surgical, burn, and trauma patients in ICU and emergency room settings across the country.  While working as an RN in the Medical Shock, Trauma, and Acute Resuscitation unit at Medstar Washington Hospital Center she started part-time with the FBSRL before coming on to manage and grow the clinical research program.  Melissa also enjoys experiencing new cultures and foods while traveling and spending time with her two boisterous nephews.

Abdulnaser Alkhalil, Ph.D

Dr. Alkhalil joined the Burn Research Team in June 2014 as a Senior Research Scientist. After receiving his Ph.D degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2001 from Georgetown University in Washington DC, he worked at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In 2007 he joined the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) to pursue his research on infectious diseases and worked on several viral select agents. In 2011 he moved to the biotechnology sector as a senior scientist at Emergent BioSolutions® and worked on assay and vaccine development. Throughout his career he studied several pathogens, including Biothreat agents, to understand host-pathogen interactions and to identify new infection countermeasures, vaccines, and small molecule therapeutics for deadly parasites, bacteria, and viruses. His work spans a wide array of scientific and administrative functions with specific emphasis on ensuring proper planning, execution, analysis and results reporting for many projects. Dr. Alkhalil brings with him 13 years experience of basic research in industry and academia.

Taryn E. Travis, MD

Dr. Taryn Travis is an attending surgeon with the Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center where she recently completed her general surgery residency.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2005, and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in 2010 before coming to Washington, DC. Dr. Travis completed two years as the Burn Surgery Research Fellow in our lab from 2012-2014 before returning to her clinical surgery training. She remains involved in research projects concerning wound healing, scar formation, dyspigmentation, and laser scar revision.


Click on the link below to view a comprehensive list of Dr. Travis' research papers available through the PubMed database.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?sort=pubdate&term=Travis+TE&cauthor_id=31908211

Shawn Tejiram, MD

Dr. Shawn Tejiram is an attending surgeon at the Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center where he completed his general surgery residency in 2018. Dr. Tejiram returns to DC after a 2-year fellowship in Burns, Trauma, and Critical Care at UC Davis Medical Center. He hails from Tampa Florida where, during his undergraduate studies, he triple majored in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Biomedical Sciences at the University of South Florida in 2008. Dr. Tejiram then received his Doctor of Medicine from the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida in 2012. During his academic career, Dr. Tejiram has been involved in a variety of research pursuits in many clinical fields, including internal medicine, orthopedic surgery, and surgical oncology. He was the Burn Research Fellow in the 2014-2015 academic year. He has also received several honors, including most recently the Excellence in Surgical Critical Patient Care Aware by the Washington Hospital Center Surgery Department. He continues to be involved in research involved in coagulopathy, resuscitation, and burn critical care.

Bonnie C. Carney, Ph.D

Dr. Carney is a Research Scientist in the Firefighters’ Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2014. She obtained her graduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University in 2020. Her main focus in the lab is studying dyspigmentation in burn hypertrophic scar.

Edward (Ted) Kelly, MD

Ted is currently serving as the Burn Research Fellow in the Firefighter’s Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory at Medstar Washington Hospital Center for the 2021-2023 academic years. Dr. Kelly completed 2 years of general surgery residency training before coming to Medstar last year. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Queensland/Ochsner Clinical School in 2018 and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 2011. His focus in the lab has been on inhalation injury, endotheliopathy and burn resuscitation.

Cameron S. D’Orio, BS

Cameron is a Research Assistant in the Firefighter’s Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Prior to coming to the FBSRL, Cameron worked in COVID-19 testing services and caregiving. He is currently pursuing matriculation into medical school.

Brooke E. Pierson, MS

Brooke is a laboratory associate with the Firefighters’ Burn and Surgical Research Lab (FBSRL). She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. Upon graduation, she went on to train with the US Rowing Women’s National Team. Afterward, Brooke pursued her master’s degree in Biochemistry at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. There, she studied Myosin Mutations in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Prior to working at the FBSRL, Brooke worked as a medical scribe with UC Health of Northern Colorado. She is very interested in continuing her focus in pre-clinical and clinical research while pursuing her future in medicine.

Kristen Sinagra, BS

Kristen is a Research Assistant in the Firefighter’s Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory. She obtained her degree in Health Sciences from the University of New Hampshire in 2022. Prior to joining the FBSRL, she conducted research at the University of California Davis focused on the use of headgear in women’s lacrosse. She has also worked in the Brain Research and Assessment Initiative of New Hampshire Laboratory.

Eriks Ziedins, BS

Eriks is a research associate at FBSRL. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Vermont. During his time in undergrad, he worked as an EMT-A on UVM Rescue, a fully student run ambulance service that provided advanced medical support to the UVM campus and surrounding cities. He also worked in a coagulation lab on campus studying the dysregulation of fibrinolysis to better understand coagulopathy. In FBSRL Eriks is excited to learn more about coagulopathy related to burn injury and wound healing.

Mason Dallegge, BS

Mason is a Clinical Research Coordinator at FBSRL and joined the team in April of 2022. He graduated from the University of Oregon receiving a Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology with a minor in Chemistry. He currently hopes to further his learning in the field of clinical research and expand his work with the team at the FBSRL. In his free time, you can find him rock climbing, playing soccer, or exploring DC trying to find a great new meal.

Cara Delatore, BS

Cara is a Clinical Research Coordinator at the FBSRL and has been with the team since 2021. Prior to this position, she obtained her Bachelor's of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Clinical Research from the Kent State University College of Public Health. The areas of burn research which especially interest her includes obtaining clinical data related to burn resuscitation, surgical intervention, and burn wound care.  Additionally, a passion of hers is to learn about different health disparities and marginalized communities. She also finds that the combination of clinical experience with a public health perspective is both rewarding and insightful. In her free time, she enjoys caring for her plants, along with exploring local brunches and markets.

Angela Golding, MPH, BS

Angela is a clinical research coordinator for the Firefighter’s Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular Biology and Biomedicine at Castleton University in 2019 followed by her Master of Public Health Degree in Epidemiology at the Colorado School of Medicine in 2022. Prior to starting at the FBSRL, Angela worked at the Department of Public Health for the State of Colorado where she investigated regional enteric disease outbreaks. She also worked across molecular biology and microbiology laboratories examining the effects of gut microbiota on secondary metabolite tolerance and seeking novel antibiotics.

Alison Ross, B

Alison is a Clinical Research Assistant at FBSRL and has been with the team since 2021. Prior to this she worked in data management at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health as part of the COVID-19 response. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in the History of Science, Medicine and Public Health with a concentration in Medicine and Public Health from Yale University. She is interested in the evolution of surgery and the intersection of policy, public health and medicine.

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Previous Team Members' Biographies

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Laura S. Johnson, MD

Dr. Laura S. Johnson was a clinician collaborator with the Burn and Surgical Research Team from 2012-2022. She recently became an attending surgeon at Emory University where she serves as Assistant Program Director for the general surgery residency program there. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Chemistry from the University of Southern California in 2001, and her Doctor of Medicine Degree from the Keck School of Medicine in 2005. Dr. Johnson completed her internship and residency in the department of surgery at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington D.C., a fellowship with the Division of Trauma/ Surgical Critical Care at the Emory University School of Medicine, and then returned to Washington Hospital Center as an attending surgeon in trauma, burns and surgical critical care. She is currently involved in research involving organ donation in burn patients and is a principal investigator in the American Burn Association’s Rescue Trial evaluating hemofiltration in adult burn patients with septic shock and acute renal failure.

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Sarah E. Burkey, BA

Sarah Burkey was a clinical research coordinator at the FBSRL from 2019-2022. She is now pursuing her Physician Assistant degree at Frostburg State University. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.

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Nick J. Prindeze, MD

Nick Prindeze is a general surgery resident at Medstar Georgetown/Washington Hospital Center program. He was involved in research projects in the lab studying burn wound conversion through the use of Active Dynamic Thermography technology, which Nick helped develop with Dr. Shupp. Nick received his Bachelors degree from the James A. Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012. He graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada.

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John W. Keyloun, MD

John W. Keyloun was a Burn Research Fellow for the 2019-2021 academic years. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame in 2013. During his time at Notre Dame he was employed by the Notre Dame Fire Department as an EMT-B and worked on campus to provide first aid coverage at campus events and was an event coordinator with the First Aid Services Team. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Georgetown University in 2017. Currently, he is a resident in General Surgery at the Medstar Georgetown/Washington Hospital Center program. Honors include the Surgical Critical Care Services Award for outstanding performance in the surgical ICU.

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Saira Nisar, MD

Dr. Nisar was one of the Burn Research Fellows for the academic year 2019-2020. She is currently a resident in Anesthesiology at the George Washington University Hospital with the eventual goal to pursue a career in critical care. She received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Masters degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and worked at St. James University Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary in Leeds, England, for 2 years. After returning to the US, she completed a General Surgery preliminary year at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Her research includes studying endothelial dysfunction in burn injury using animal and in-vitro models. In her spare time she enjoys reading mystery fiction and making ceramic pottery.

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Robert Ball, MD

Robert Ball was one of the Burn Research Fellows who was with the lab through the 2018-2019 academic year.  He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education and French Language and Literature from Boston College in 2008.  He then spent three years as a high school French teacher in Boston before moving to New Orleans where he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Tulane University in 2015.  He is currently a General Surgery resident at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, MA.  Upon completion of his residency, he plans to pursue a career in trauma, burns, and critical care.  His research interests include coagulopathy in burn patients and pediatric burn patients.  In his free time, he enjoys knitting and spending time with his wife, son, dog, and two cats.

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Gaurav Garg, MD

Dr. Garg was one of the Burn Research Fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Georgetown University in 2008. He then spent three years working in the healthcare field, including one year as a Trauma Registrar at Washington Hospital Center, which served as his introduction to surgery. Dr. Garg received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2015. Currently, he a general surgery resident at Medstar Georgetown/Washington Hospital Center program. After completing his training, he is planning a career in Trauma, Burns, and Critical Care. His research interests include the biochemical pathways involved in burn wound conversion, the use of blood products in wound healing, and endothelial dysfunction in burn injury.

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Robert Smith, BS

Robert Smith was a Research Assistant at the FBSRL from 2018-2019. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2018. He began volunteering with the lab in the summer of 2016. As a volunteer, Robert focused on the influence of reactive oxygen species scavengers on the development of hypertrophic scar. His research interests include variance in healing mechanisms of differentially pigmented skin, and cell to cell communication within hypertrophic scar. He hopes to pursue medical school in the future.

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Kyle Monger, BS

Kyle Monger was a Research Assistant at the FBSRL from 2014-2018.  His involvement in the lab focused on animal research and histology.  He graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2014 earning degrees in both biological science and psychology.  Prior to working at the lab, Kyle worked as a veterinary technician for several years.  Tending to and caring for animals is his passion, and he hopes to pursue a career in animal care and research. Currently, he is pursuing a research position with a cancer research laboratory.

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Jason H. Chen, MD

Jason H. Chen, MD was one of the Burn Research Fellows for the 2016-2017 academic year.  He received his Bachelors of Arts in Molecular Cell Biology with honors at the University of California, Berkeley in 2007 and his Doctor of Medicine Degree at Vanderbilt University in 2013.  He is now in his fifth year of general surgery residency at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.   His most recent honors include the Excellence in Vascular Surgery Patient Care Award and winning the regional American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma Basic Laboratory Science research competition.   His past research has included the complete genome sequencing of an epidemic clone of community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and improvement in the immunogenicity of potential HIV vaccines.  He is still currently involved in research focused on wound healing and stem cell therapy, and the prevention of burn progression.

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Lauren S. Nosanov, MD

Dr. Lauren Nosanov is a Burn Fellow at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She was one of the Burn Research Fellows for the 2016-2017 academic year. She completed her General Surgery resident at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in 2020. After completing an undergraduate degree in Independent Study with a focus on Theatrical Direction at New York University, she obtained a Postbaccalaureate Premedical Certificate from Columbia University. She obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in 2014. She will complete her clinical training with an ultimate goal of pursuing a career in trauma, burn and critical care.

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Mariana Vigiola Cruz MD

Dr. Vigiola Cruz was one of the Burn Research Fellows for the 2016-2017 academic year. She is a General Surgery resident at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Vigiola Cruz received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Rutgers University-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ, where she had previously concluded her undergraduate studies majoring in Cell Biology and Neuroscience and minoring in French Language. Dr. Vigiola Cruz remains involved with various basic science and clinical research projects with our lab, focusing on endothelial dysfunction, coagulopathy and nutrition in burn patients.

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Jennifer L. Paul, BS

Jennifer Paul was a Research Assistant at the FBSRL during her undergraduate schooling. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biological Sciences in the College Park Life Sciences Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, College Park in 2017. She will go on to pursue a graduate degree in nutrition.

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Christina E. Stiles, BS

Christina E. Stiles was the clinical research coordinator for the Firefighters’ Burn and Surgical Research Laboratory from 2015-2017. Before coming to work for the FBSRL, she obtained her undergraduate degree in Biological Chemistry and Math from Bates College in 2015. She is currently a medical student at University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.