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The Division of Trauma, Burn and Surgical Critical Care at the Brigham conducts cutting-edge research on interventions for treating critically ill trauma, burn, and emergency surgery patients. Under the direction of Ali Salim, MD, FACS, the division chief, our research program is focused on surgical effectiveness, wound repair and healing, patient outcomes, organ donation, trauma immunology as well as many other areas of interest. Members of our research program bring together expertise in clinical, basic science, injury prevention, and translational research. Our faculty have served in leadership roles in the development of national clinical practice guidelines and have chaired groups across multiple professional organizations. These efforts have helped guide the care of thousands of patients at the Brigham and beyond. Their discoveries will continue to drive clinical innovation focused on improving care for critically ill trauma patients.


*Our division is proud to collaborate closely with the Stepping Strong Injury Prevention and Intervention Program (SSIPIP) in research endeavors. Ali Salim, MD, FACS, oversees its research on falls prevention, firearm injury prevention and emergency preparedness, trauma patient outcomes, violence prevention, traffic safety, and substance use prevention. The SSIPIP is proud to serve as a shared resource in helping to shape the forward progress of the division’s research mission.

Our surgeon-scientists collaborate across the Brigham research community and beyond. Some of our investigations include:

  • Laboratory studies of surgical complications and trauma immunology funded by the NIH NIAID
  • Retrospective studies evaluating surgical interventions for C. Diff infection, a phase 3 clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of a new drug to improve outcomes in patients with necrotizing soft tissue infection, and studies exploring the relationship between NSTI and nutrition
  • Development and validation of a new surgical pre-operative checklist and intra-operative huddle specific for emergency general surgery patients.
  • Development and validation of a scoring tool to improve deceased organ donation rates, and ultimately improve patient access to organ transplantation
  • Studies defining palliative care needs of older adults undergoing surgery
  • Identification of factors that affect morbidity and mortality from EGS and interventions to improve outcomes
  • Improvement of management and outcomes of traumatic brain injury, rectal trauma, and genitourinary trauma
  • Collection of patient-reported functional outcomes to understand the long-term recovery experience after traumatic injury*
  • Quantitative and qualitative research to understand the impact of social determinants, patient factors, specific treatments and systems of care on long-term trauma outcomes*
  • Development of a training program to help physicians talk to their patients about firearm safety*
  • Research projects designed to develop and evaluate novel injury prevention interventions*


Research Faculty

Vanessa Roxo, MPH
Senior Project Manager

Barbara Okafor, MBA
Senior Project Coordinator

Manuel Castillo-Angeles, MD, MPH

Cheryl Lang, MPH
Injury Prevention Project Manager

Katherine Palm, MSW, LCSW
Injury Prevention & Outreach Coordinator

Justin Gelzhiser, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Injury Prevention

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