Research Team

KuoJen Tsao, MD, FACS, FAAP
The Children’s Fund Distinguished Professor in Pediatric Surgery, Department of Pediatric Surgery, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth
Professor and Chief, Division of Pediatric General & Thoracic Surgery
Program Director, Pediatric Surgery Fellowship
Co-Director, The Fetal Center
Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital
Houston, TX

Dr. Tsao is a clinical researcher with interests in quality and safety in pediatric surgery. As the Vice-chair of Quality for the Department of Pediatric Surgery, he leads the Pediatric Surgical Safety Initiative at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and is the executive director of the center for Children’s Surgical Quality and Safety. His primary research is focused on the errors and adverse children’s events as well as efficacy of the surgical safety checklist in children’s surgery. Dr. Tsao’s research program supports medical students and surgical residents interested in pediatric surgical clinical research.

Maryam Broussard, MHA, CCRP
Maryam Broussard is the research program manager of the center for Children’s Surgical and Quality and Safety. Ms. Maryam received her Master’s in Healthcare Administration at the University of Houston-Clear Lake and is a certified clinical research professional. She has over 17 years of experience in healthcare and oversees all aspects of the program and participates in various research studies.

Elisa Garcia, MPH, BSN, RN
Elisa Garcia is the clinical trial program manager. Ms. Garcia received her Master’s in public health in 2019 and Bachelor’s in Nursing in 2016. She has over 6 years of experience and participates in various research projects.

Nutan Hebballi, BDS, MPH, PMP, Six Sigma Green Belt
Nutan Hebballi is a senior research associate. Ms. Nutan received her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from The University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston and Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India. She is a certified Project Management Professional and Six Sigma Green Belt. She has over 6 years of experience and participates in various research projects.

Claudia Loza
Claudia Loza is a Senior Coordinator, Special Programs.  

Ashley Ebanks MSN, APRN, RN, FNP-C
Ms. Ebanks is a nurse practitioner and Clinical Trial Program Manager.

Caroline Doughty-Skierski, AS, RN
Caroline Doughty-Skierski is a Senior Research Nurse in the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery. Ms. Doughty-Skierski received her Associate of Science Degree from Mercer County College and her RN from Mercer Medical Center SON. She has over 20 years of registered nurse experience including patient care, drug safety reporting and research.