SC2I Leadership

sc2i leadership

SC2i is proud to count among its leadership, researchers and surgeons from premier military and civilian critical-care centers.


Eric A. Elster, MD, FACS

Eric A. Elster, MD, FACS

Professor and Chairman, Norman M. Rich Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Dr. Elster received his undergraduate and medical school degrees from the University of South Florida in Tampa as a recipient of the U.S. Navy’s Health Professionals Scholarship Program. Upon graduation, Dr. Elster completed a general surgery residency at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Dr. Elster served as ship’s surgeon aboard the USS Kitty Hawk while stationed in the Persian Gulf. Upon returning, Dr. Elster completed a solid organ transplantation fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. CAPT Elster now serves as the 3rd Chairman of the Norman M. Rich Department of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Dr. Elster was recently deployed as a surgeon and Director of Surgical Services at the NATO Role 3 Military Medical Unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Dr. Elster is a member of numerous organizations including a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Society of University Surgeons,American Society of Transplant Surgeons, and has published over 100 scientific manuscripts and received numerous research grants.


Allan KirkAllan D. Kirk, MD, PhD, FACS 

Chairman, Department of Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine and Surgeon-in-Chief, Duke University Health System

Allan D. Kirk, MD, PhD is the Chairman of Surgery at Duke University and the Surgeon-in-Chief of the Duke University Health System. He is a practicing kidney and pancreas transplant surgeon and is a recognized authority in organ transplantation and its related immunology. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Transplantation and maintains an active basic research and clinical trial portfolio with a scientific bibliography of over 200 original manuscripts. His interests include the fundamental relationships between injury, critical illness and immune function and is a founding investigator of the SC2i. He currently serves as the Principal Investigator for the SC2i at Duke University and oversees the SC2i's civilian investigative partnerships.


Benjamin PotterBenjamin K. Potter, MD 

Vice-Chairman for Research, Norman M. Rich Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

LTC Benjamin “Kyle” Potter is a Deputy Director of SC2i. Dr Potter is an Honor graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate of the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center and a musculoskeletal oncology fellowship at the University of Miami. LTC Potter deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, serving as the Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon for the Task Force 115 Combat Support Hospital, Camp Dwyer, Helmand Province. In addition to his SC2i duties, Dr. Potter currently serves as the Vice Chair (Research) & Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University. He is also the Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon for the Amputee Program and the Director of Musculoskeletal Oncology at WRNMMC, and a musculoskeletal oncology consultant for the NCI/NHLBI at the NIH. Dr. Potter serves on numerous orthopaedic journal editorial boards and has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. In addition to stated goals of the SC2i program, his other personal research interests include amputation surgery, heterotopic ossification, and the management of primary and metastatic disease of bone.


Timothy BuchmanTimothy G. Buchman, PhD, MD, FACS, FCCP, MCCM 

Founding Director, Emory Critical Care Center

Timothy G. Buchman, PhD, MD, FACS, FCCP, MCCM is the founding director of the Emory’s Critical Care Center, which integrates throughout the Emory Healthcare system. The Center assembles clinicians, teachers and investigators from diverse disciplines to deliver the Right Care, Right Now, Every Time. Dr. Buchman is past president of the Shock Society, the Society for Complex Acute Illness and the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the latter being the largest organization of critical care professionals worldwide.

Before joining Emory, he served as the Edison Professor of Surgery and Director of Acute and Critical Care Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to his 15 years on the faculty at Washington University, Dr. Buchman directed the surgical intensive care unit and founded the trauma service at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he completed his surgical training..

Dr. Buchman's research has spanned the bench-to-bedside continuum, including NIH-funded studies of physiological dynamics; of patient monitoring; of the genetics of sepsis and of ICU end-of-life care. His current activity focuses on promoting situation awareness and using predictive analytics in critical care to achieve better health, better care and lower costs.


Christopher DenteChristopher J. Dente, MD, FACS 

Associate Professor of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine

Having completed surgical residency at Wayne State University in 2002 and Surgical Critical Care training at Emory in 2004 and achieving board certification in both specialties, Dr. Dente has been on Emory’s faculty at Grady Memorial Hospital since 2004.  While he maintains a very active clinical practice in trauma and general surgery at Atlanta’s premier level I trauma centers, he has also published multiple manuscripts on a variety of topics in acute care surgery and trauma, with a recent focus on the design and implementation of a Massive Transfusion Protocol. He maintains a national presence as the Vice Chair of the American Association for Surgery of Trauma’s Acute Care Surgery Committee and the chair of the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons.


John Niles, MBA

Executive Director, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine

SC2i Executive Director, Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine
Mr. Niles brings 4 decades of healthcare experience working in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, as well as the clinical research and development sector. He has held senior positions in marketing, strategic planning, business development, commercialization and general management.

John is currently the Executive Director of the Surgical Critical Care Initiative (SC2i) for the Henry Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine – the predictive medicine entity working with the Walter Reed National Military Center located in Bethesda Maryland. His prior positions include System Director of the OhioHealth Research & Innovation Institute where he directed research and commercialization initiatives within the OhioHealth hospital system; CEO of PCTI Clinical Trials, Inc., an industry-leading research network specializing in pediatric and adolescent clinical trials, with administrative headquarters at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio; Director of Marketing for PAREXEL International, an industry leading Contract Research Organization (CRO). John previously worked in both the pharmaceutical and medical device industries in marketing and business development capacities.

John is a recent graduate of the Leadership Coaching Certificate Program at the Georgetown University Institute for Transformational Leadership. He holds an M.S. in Physiology and an M.B.A., both from The Ohio State University.