Karla Lawson, PhD, MPH

karla-lawsonDirector, Dell Children’s Trauma and Injury Research Center
Research Scientist III, Trauma Services Research
Adjunct Professor, University of Texas School of Public Health
Clinical Associate Professor, Dell Medical School
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical Branch
512-324-0000 ext. 86732
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Dr. Karla A. Lawson, PhD, MPH, is the Director of Dell Children’s Trauma and Injury Research Center. The Center focuses on the epidemiologic, clinical and behavioral study of child injury, injury prevention and trauma clinical care with the ultimate goal of informing and guiding improved clinical practice and prevention efforts. Dr. Lawson received her doctoral degree from the University of Texas in 2003 and was awarded the Cancer Prevention Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health for 2003-2006. She received a Master in Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2004, where she concentrated in epidemiology and biostatistics. Dr. Lawson is an Affiliate Clinical Professor at Dell Medical School and holds Adjunct Faculty positions at University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus, University of Texas Medical Branch, and the University of Texas at Austin Department of Nutrition. Her current research interests include the prevention and clinical decision-making of non-accidental trauma injury, injury surveillance and best clinical practice.

Molly B. Johnson, PhD, M.AmSAT

Molly Johnson__The Trauma and Injury Research Center at DCMCClinical Research Scholar, Dell Children’s Trauma and Injury Research Center
(512) 324-0000, ext. 86851
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Dr. Molly Johnson is a research scholar for Dell Children’s Trauma and Injury Research Center and oversees research for the Drowning Prevention and Water Safety program. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience and Behavior in 2010 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and received a postdoctoral research fellowship to study behavioral and movement factors related to occupational injuries and back pain development with the Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University. She received her BA in Biochemistry from Carleton College. Dr. Johnson is also an adjunct professor in the Kinesiology Department at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. Dr. Johnson draws on her extensive experience as an Alexander Technique teacher and training director to inform her understanding of behavioral change and injury prevention and her background as a Shaw Method aquatics instructor to guide her research on drowning prevention.

Karen Piper, BS

Karen Piper__The Trauma and Injury Research Center at DCMCResearch Data Coordinator
512-324-0000 x 86731
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Karen Piper, BS, is a Data Manager and Research Coordinator for Dell Children’s Trauma and Injury Research Center. She received her BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 2002, and has worked in health care informatics for over 10 years. Since 2009, Karen has applied her programming, database and analysis skills to compile datasets tailored to meet researchers’ study aims as well as designing business intelligence systems to supplement decision making in QI/PI projects. She enjoys collaborating with investigators and clinical professionals on a diverse spectrum of pediatric injury and mental health research projects. Her current research interests include the detection and surveillance of the non-accidental trauma population.

Catherine L. Wesson, MPH

Catherine Crocker__The Trauma and Injury Research Center at DCMCResearch Coordinator
(512) 324-0000, Ext. 86737
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Catherine Wesson, MPH, is a research coordinator for Dell Children’s Trauma and Injury Research Center. She received her Master of Public Health degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 2008 where she focused on Management, Policy and Community Health, and has a B.S from The University of Texas at Austin. Catherine has experience in laboratory research related to pediatric cancer as well as managing industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials related to orthopedic diseases, and has published in these fields. Catherine’s current research interests include outcomes of pediatric trauma, determinants of non-accidental trauma, predictors of health policy compliance and adoption of healthy behaviors following an intervention.