Spring 2024

Spring 2024 Newsletter

A Message from the Publications Committee:


Welcome to the Spring 2024 edition of the Department of Surgery newsletter at UTMB! Amidst our historical April Total Eclipse and Match Day, we continue our steadfast commitment to healthcare excellence and patient well-being. This quarter has seen remarkable teamwork and advancements, reflecting the dedication of our surgical teams and support staff. Together, we are making a meaningful difference. 

Warmly, The Office of Publications 


Spring 2024 Newsletter Featured Division:
Trauma and Acute Care Faculty and Staff

(Not Pictured Above is Josh Person, MD; Mike Erickson, DO; Hoang Pham, MD; Patrick Wallace, MD; Mike Norman, MD; Francis Welsh, MD; and Steven Wolf, MD.)

All Around UTMB Surgery

Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program Named Center of Excellence

Apr 12, 2024, 08:57 AM by Melanie Connolly

We are excited to announce that UTMB Health Galveston Campus is now home to a Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) Center of Excellence as approved by the American College of Surgeons. MBSAQIP accredits inpatient and outpatient bariatric surgery centers in the U.S. and Canada that have undergone an independent, voluntary, and rigorous peer evaluation in accordance with nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards.

The reviewers remarked positively on Dr. Sarah Samreen’s leadership of the program, the cohesiveness of our multidisciplinary team, and on the program’s strong personal relationship with each of their patients. This accreditation not only promotes uniform standard benchmarks but also supports continuous quality improvement.

The successful outcome of this accreditation process is a testimony to the work and dedication of the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program and those who provide care to patients pursuing and having undergone bariatric surgery. Many thanks to all who were involved in the accreditation process, and for continuing to provide excellent care to our patients.

For more information about weight loss surgery at UTMB, visit the bariatric program website.

At UTMB Health, we're a big family that helps take care of your family. Learn more about preparing your child for surgery with Dr. Carmen Mora: from surgeons to child life specialists, our team works together to center care around patients & caregivers.



  • Transplant

    Transplant Surgery is Published in Surgery in Practice and Science

    February 7, 2024, 12:34 PM by John Carstens

    Dr. Trine Engebretsen, Dr. Michael Kueht, and third year medical student John Johnson authored “Donor Hepatitis C status is not associated with an increased risk of acute rejection in kidney transplantation” in the journal Surgery in Practice and Science.

  • Surgical Sciences

    New Publication: Surgical Sciences

    March 7, 2024, 13:45 PM by John Carstens

    Erick Ditmars (MS4) and Dr. William Fagg’s article, “Amniotic Membrane Resolves Treatment-Resistant Chronic Wounds: Evidence from a Multi-Center Retrospective Study Journal of Wound Care,” was accepted by the Journal of Wound Care.

  • Klimberg

    Dr. Klimberg Co-Authors a Leading Textbook in Surgery

    January 17, 2024, 14:33 PM by John Carstens

    Dr. V. Suzanne Klimberg co-authored “Fisher’s | Mastery of Surgery, Eighth Edition” which was recently published. Dr. Klimberg applied her vast knowledge of breast oncology to the manuscript.

Honors & Awards

illustration of 3 researchers studying gene editing

Brian Amburn Receives ITS T32 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship

Apr 12, 2024, 13:21 PM by UTMB Surgery

Brian Amburn, an MD/PhD student in Dr. Fagg's lab, has been awarded the UTMB ITS T32 Pre-doctoral Fellowship, starting April 1, 2024. This prestigious award from the UTMB Institute for Translational Science TL1 Training Core includes support for tuition, a stipend, and a travel allowance to present at a scientific conference.

A message from Brian Amburn:
Receiving this TL1 Fellowships is a huge honor! As an MD-PhD student I am always trying to find a way to relate the bench to the bedside, translating our basic science research into something I'll use in the future to treat patients. With this fellowship I will be able to focus on my training as a future physician-scientist including attending the RNA Society conference and joining the Institue for Translational Sciences. 

Congratulations to Brian on this achievement!