About Us

Benjamin Levi, M.D.

Principal Investigator

Lee-Hudson Professor and Division Chief of General Surgery
Director, Center for Organogenesis and Trauma
Associate Professor in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and General Surgery
Member, Children's Research Institute and Center for Mineral Metabolism Research
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
UT Southwestern Medical Center 5323 Harry Hines Blvd.
Building E, 5th floor, Room 514A Dallas, TX 75390-9158
Phone: 214-533-7680

Dr. Levi completed his undergraduate education at Washington University, medical school at Northwestern University and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency at the University of Michigan. During this time he completed a 2 year post-doctoral research fellowship at Stanford University. He  completed a fellowship in Burn Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Massachusetts General Hospital. Benjamin has been involved in Burn research since High School when given the opportunity to work in the Burn Laboratory of Richard Gamelli MD and Luisa DiPietro DDS, PhD. Subsequently, and for three consecutive summers, he worked in the Burn and Shock Trauma laboratory of Dr. Gamelli and Dr. Luisa DiPietro with a focus on wound healing and inflammation.

Inspired by this experience, he remained active in research throughout medical school and residency and he dedicated two years of additional training to do a basic science research fellowship in stem cell biology and bone tissue engineering at Stanford University under Dr. Michael Longaker. During this time, he focused on basic stem cell biology, mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) osteogenesis, and bone tissue engineering.

Upon returning to the University of Michigan, Dr. Levi  developed the Burn/Wound and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory with the guidance of Dr. Stewart Wang. This lab has focused on the significant clinical problem of heterotopic ossification. Porting this work to UTSW, Dr. Levi has developed new animal models to study this complex process and is working to improve early diagnostic and treatment modalities.

The Levi Lab Team

The BWR Laboratory is grounded on a foundation of teamwork, bringing together doctors, professional scientists, medical students, graduate students, and undergraduates from a variety of backgrounds.

Senior Lab Members

Johanna Nunez, MD

Surgical Research Fellow

Amanda Huber, PhD

Research Investigator

Kaetlin Vasquez, MS

Laboratory Manager

Chase Pagani, BS

Chase Pagani, BS

Research Technician

Yuxiao Sun

Yuxiao Sun

Research Scientist

Nicholas Livingston

Nicholas Livingston

Research Technician


Sara De La Rosa, MD

Ophthalmology Resident at Tulane University School of Medicine-LA

Casey Kraft, MD

Plastic Surgery Resident at The Ohio State University

Jim Drake, MD

General Surgery Resident at UIC Peoria

Michael Sorkin, MD

Plastic Surgery Resident at University of Michigan

David Stepien, MD, PhD

Plastic Surgery Resident at University of Michigan

Jake Rinkinen, MD

Plastic Surgery Resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/MGH

Shawn Loder, MD

Plastic Surgery Resident at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Oluwatobi Eboda, MA

PhD Candidate in University of Otago (New Zealand)

Serra Ucer, PhD

Post doctoral fellow, University of Indiana

Noelle Visser, MS

Lab Tech Senior at University of Michigan

Jeffrey Lisiecki, MD

Plastic Surgery Resident at Michigan Medicine

Cameron Brownley, BA

Chiropractic Student

David Fireman

PharmD Candidate at University of Florida

Keiko Kaneko, PhD

Researcher, Tokyo University of Science in Japan

Wesley Huang, BS

MD PhD student at University of Michigan

Kay Shigemori

Lab Technician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Shailesh Agarwal, MD

Attending Plastic Surgery Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Shuli Li, MD, PhD

Senior Scientist

Charles Hwang, MD

Plastic Surgery Resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/MGH

Nicole Patel, BS

Medical Student at University of Michigan

Support Our Research

Burn/trauma and regenerative medicine researchers in plastic surgery seek to prevent the formation of bones in abnormal locations. Gifts help alleviate this condition affecting burn, auto accident, orthopaedic surgery and blast injury patients.


Post-Doctoral Fellow Position Available Immediately Learn more