Bynum is a UT Health San Antonio trauma care professor and 23-year DoD researcher
James Bynum, PhD, professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has been selected as executive director of the Trauma Research and Combat Casualty Care Collaborative, or TRC4.
The University of Texas System Board of Regents last year approved $2.5 million to establish the collaborative at UT Health San Antonio in partnership with the Department of Defense and all UT System institutions.
The first and only one of its kind in the United States, the effort is leveraging longstanding partnerships with University Health and the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council, known as STRAC, to address a critical need for improved trauma care both on the battlefield and in the civilian sector.
Bynum, who spent 23 years as a Department of Defense researcher and served as Army chief of blood and shock research and tactical combat casualty care, has been serving as interim executive director of the collaborative since Aug. 1. The UT System made his role permanent on Nov. 6.
“Dr. Bynum’s extensive experience and exceptional qualifications make him the ideal candidate to lead TRC4 into its first year of launch and into its next phases of growth and development,” said William L. Henrich, MD, MACP, president of UT Health San Antonio. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the position, having dedicated much of his career to advancing the fields of trauma research and combat casualty care.”
A San Antonio native, Bynum completed undergraduate studies in biology at The University of Texas at San Antonio and received his PhD from The University of Texas at Austin in pharmaceutical sciences. He spent several years as a research associate, including time at Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans’ Hospital studying diabetes, before joining the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.
There, Bynum focused his research efforts on decreasing mortality and morbidities on the battlefield and in civilian settings, in areas of cellular hemorrhage control, prevention of hemorrhagic and burn shock, treatment of traumatic brain injury and development of products to resuscitate trauma-related casualties. The Army supported the pursuit of his PhD, which led to his leadership roles there.
He has authored more than 170 peer-reviewed articles, abstracts and book chapters, obtained four patents and received numerous defense department awards and honors. In 2022, he retired from the Army institute to pursue his passion for trauma care at UT Health San Antonio.
“As executive director, Dr. Bynum will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of TRC4 within the state of Texas and in close collaboration with UT System and our partnering UT schools,” Henrich said. “His leadership and vision will be instrumental in steering this initiative toward new horizons, enhancing its influence in the pursuit of innovation and cutting-edge research in this area.”
Trauma is the leading cause of death and permanent disability for persons younger than 44 years. The collaborative aims to dramatically improve the care, health outcomes and survival rate for trauma injuries, and create new commercialization and device development opportunities in Texas.
The UT System’s funding matches an initial in-kind commitment toward the project made by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, covering early startup costs including 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 a partnership launched in 2021 between the UT System and the U.S. Army Futures Command/U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.