Burn and Surgical Research at MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Clinical, Translational, and Basic Science Aimed at Improving Patient Care
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.
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.
Laura S. Johnson, MD
Dr. Laura S. Johnson is a clinician collaborator with the Burn and Surgical Research Team. 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. Dr. Johnson serves as a collaborator and mentor to the Burn Research residents and brings with her many years of clinical experience. Dr. Johnson’s expertise brings diversity to our research group, as well as a unique clinical perspective in relation to the translational research conducted in the laboratory. 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.
Click on the link below to view a comprehensive list of Dr. Johnson's research papers available through the PubMed database.
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.
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 post-doctoral fellow doing her research 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.
Sarah E. Burkey, BA
Sarah Burkey is the clinical research coordinator at the FBSRL. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Prior to starting at FBRSL, Sarah worked on clinical research projects for pain management and joint cartilage regeneration. Sarah hopes to pursue a career in medicine. In her free time, Sarah enjoys mountain biking, rock climbing, and cooking.
Nick J. Prindeze, MD
Nick Prindeze is a general surgery resident at Medstar Georgetown/Washington Hospital Center program. He is 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. received several honors including the UMD Bioengineering Capstone Best Impact on Medicine Award in 2012, as well as the American Chemical Society Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award in 2010.
John W. Keyloun, MD
John W. Keyloun is a Burn Research Fellow who will be in the lab through 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 PGY-3 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. Ultimately, he plans to pursue a career in Trauma, Burns, and Critical Care. His research interests include coagulopathy, endotheliopathy, and shock modeling.
Christina Asare, BS
Christina is a clinical research assistant at the FBSRL. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Health Science from the University of Maryland in May 2018. During her undergraduate career she served on the E-board of various student organizations including Charles R Drew. Pre-Health Society and volunteered at the University Health Center. In addition to her position at FBSRL Christina also manages a small family owned International grocery store part-time. Christina is excited to learn more about clinical research and plans to pursue a career in medicine.
Adam Reese, MD
Dr. Adam Reese is a Burn Research Fellow who will be in the lab through the 2020-2021 academic year. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Delaware in 2013 and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in 2017. Currently, he is a General Surgery resident in the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital – MedStar Washington Hospital Center Residency Program. His current research focuses on shock modeling and endothelial dysfunction in burn injury. He is an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan and in his free time he enjoys hiking with his fiancé and dogs.
Previous Team Members' Biographies
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jenna N. Luker, MD, MPH
Dr. Luker is currently a plastic surgery fellow at the Henry Ford Hospital. She completed her general surgery resident at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ in 2019. She was the Burn research fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year. Dr. Luker received her Doctor of Medicine degree from St. George's University School of Medicine in 2013, and additionally received a Master's in Public Health from St. George's in 2009. She completed her undergraduate studies at West Virginia University, graduating with a degree in Biology in 2007. Dr. Luker's research focus was the degradation of the glycocalyx after burn injury, and she is ultimately interested in pursuing a career in burn and plastic surgery.
Jenny Zhang, BS
Jenny Zhang is currently a medical student at the University of
Queensland. She was previously a Research Assistant at the FBSRL. She graduated in May 2014 from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences with a focus in Genetics and Cell Biology. She has prior research experience through internships at the George Washington University Medical Center and at the National Eye Institute and National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the NIH. Jenny¹s focus in the lab largely involved histology work and assisting in clinical studies. Outside of work and academics, she dedicates the majority of her time to Terpwushu, the Chinese martial arts team at the University of Maryand, and to her artwork and creative writing.
Daniel Y. Jo, BS
Daniel Jo was a Research Associate with the Firefighters' Burn and Surgical Research Lab from 2010 to 2014. As an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park, he began volunteering at the lab by researching methods to optimize the extraction of nucleic acids from thermally injured skin. His exposure to the hospital setting at Washington Hospital Center while conducting translational research with the FBSRL inspired Daniel to pursue a future career in medicine. Daniel recently finished medical school at Western University, and is currently a 1st year resident in general surgery at Lankenau Medical Center.
Brittany N. Hamilton, BS
Brittany Hamilton was the Clinical Research Coordinator for The Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center during 2013-2014. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience with Academic Honors at Indiana University Bloomington. After working with burn patients through numerous critical trials at The Burn Center, Brittany became interested in working more closely with clinical trial sponsors. She now works for Arteriocyte Medical Systems as a Clinical Advisor and continues to advise the FBSRL team through our work in industry sponsored clinical trials.