Austin, Texas – The University of Texas Board of Regents today announced $2.5 million in funding to establish the Trauma Research and Combat Casualty Care Collaborative (TRC4) at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) in partnership with the Department of Defense (Department of Defense). The new trauma research center will be the first and only of its kind in the United States.
Trauma is the leading cause of death and permanent disability in children and adults under the age of 44. TRC4 will serve to address the critical need for improved trauma care in the United States—both in the battlefield and in the civilian sector—to dramatically improve care, health outcomes, and survivability for trauma injuries.
“The UT Regents are firmly committed to improving patient care in Texas and across the country, and this trauma research center will save lives and support our dedicated service members.” 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 trauma care and research networks in the world, and we look forward to finding solutions that meet this critical need.”
Trauma care – also known as Combat Casualty Care (CCC) in the US military – is currently the greatest challenge facing military medicine and is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the civilian population. An estimated six million patients suffer from trauma wounds and an additional 1.2 million patients from burns in the United States, costing more than $25 billion a year — more than double the cost of heart disease and almost triple the cost of cancer and Diabetes.
“There is no system better suited to this pioneering trauma care research center than the University of Texas,” John Zerwas, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs of the UT System said. “Our world-class network of trauma and research centers combined with San Antonio’s large pool of skilled DoD and trauma care talent uniquely positions UT Health San Antonio to successfully advance the CCC research field across all UT facilities.”
While TRC4’s base of operations will be at UT Health San Antonio, the work and research undertaken will serve all thirteen institutions in the UT system, including but not limited to ongoing joint 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 represents an initial commitment in kind for the United States Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) project. UT System’s investment will cover early start-up costs for the collaboration, which includes hiring executives and administrators, developing the TRC4 strategic plan, setting up the peer review process and providing initial research funding.
The deployment of TRC4 is the latest advancement from the existing 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 allowing further expansion of their collaboration, which was signed by Chancellor Milliken and the Army Futures Command in April 2022.