UT Regents fund pioneering trauma care research center

TRC4 ‘Trauma Research and Combat Casualty Care Collaborative’ will provide integrated, groundbreaking approaches to trauma research and care at UT Health San Antonio

AUSTIN, Texas - The University of Texas Board of Regents today approved $2.5 million in funding to establish the Trauma Research and Combat Casualty Care Collaborative (TRC4) at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) in partnership with the Department of Defense (DoD). The new trauma care research center will be the first and only of its kind in the United States.

Trauma injuries are the leading cause of death and permanent disability in children and adults under 44 years of age. TRC4 will serve to address the critical need for improved trauma care in the United States – both on the battlefield and in the civilian sector – to dramatically improve the care, health outcomes and survival rate for trauma injuries.

“The UT Regents are firmly committed to elevating patient care in Texas and across the country, and this trauma care research center will save lives and support our dedicated servicemembers,” UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “TRC4 will also create new commercialization and device development opportunities right here in Texas. We are proud to have built one of the strongest and most advanced networks of trauma care and research in the world, and we look forward to finding solutions that meet this critical need.”

Trauma care - also called Combat Casualty Care (CCC) in the U.S. military - is currently the number one challenge for military medicine, and a leading cause of death and disability among the civilian population. An estimated six million patients suffer from trauma wounds and additional 1.2 million patients from burn wounds in the United States, costing more than $25 billion per year – more than double the cost of heart disease and nearly triple the cost of cancer and diabetes.

“There is no system better suited for this pioneering trauma care research center than The University of Texas,” UT System Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs John Zerwas said. “Our world-class network of trauma and research centers combined with the deep pool of qualified DoD and trauma care talent in San Antonio uniquely positions UT Health San Antonio to successfully advance the CCC field of research across all  UT institutions.”

While TRC4’s base of operations will be at UT Health San Antonio, the work and research conducted will serve all thirteen UT System institutions, including but not limited to ongoing collaborative research initiatives at UT Health Houston, UT Southwestern and UT Medical Branch Galveston.

The UT Board of Regents’ $2.5 million investment in the new trauma care research center matches an initial in-kind commitment toward the project made by the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR). The UT System’s investment will cover early start-up costs for the collaborative, which includes hiring executive leadership and administrators, developing the TRC4 strategic plan, establishing the peer review process, and providing initial research funding.

The establishment of TRC4 is the latest advancement to come from the already-established partnership between the UT System and Army Futures Command/USAISR, which began in 2021. Subsequently, all UT institutions and USAISR leadership approved a legal framework that enables further expansion of their collaborative efforts, which was signed by Chancellor Milliken and the Army Futures Command in April 2022.


About The University of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 13 institutions, an enrollment of 244,000 students and an operating budget of $25.2 billion (FY 2023), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 67,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than 60% of its medical degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 10.6 million outpatient visits and more than 2 million hospital days in 2021. Research expenditures across UT institutions reached a record $3.5 billion last year, a number that ranks No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 22,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 93,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.

News Contact Information

Catherine Frazier: cfrazier@utsystem.edu • 512-499-4360 (direct)