Col Erik K. Weitzel MD, MC, USAF is the Deputy Commander of the US Army Institute of Surgical Research, USAMRMC Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. The USAISR is the nation’s premier tri-service research organization that integrates safety into planning and executing registry-based and translational research providing innovative solutions for burn, trauma, and combat casualty care from the time of injury thru rehabilitation.
Col Weitzel was commissioned as an officer to the Air Force in 1996 in Chicago, IL while attending University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. After obtaining his MD, he matriculated to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas for his General Surgery Internship and Otolaryngology residency. In 2004, Dr. Weitzel joined the Otolaryngology Department at Wilford Hall Medical Center as Officer in Charge of Clinical Operations. Seeking further clinical advancement, Col Weitzel applied for and became the first OCONUS AFIT-funded surgical fellow. In 2007, he PCS to Adelaide, Australia to begin his training to become the first endoscopic skullbase surgeon in the Department of Defense. In 2008, Dr. Weitzel rejoined Wilford Hall’s faculty and enjoyed a rich academic experience to include promotion to Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of Health Science, co-director of the DOD’s Comprehensive Skullbase Team, Adjunct Associate Professor at UTHSCSA, Program Director of SAUSHEC Otolaryngology, Chairman of SAUSHEC Supervision Subcommittee, Flight Commander of 59MDOS/SGO2O ENT and Audiology, Chairman of JBSA Otolaryngology Department, and recipient of the prestigious SAUSHEC Gold Headed Cane award. Dr. Weitzel also is the Director of RESTOR™ Regenerative Medicine Research Program (Restorative Endeavor for Servicemembers Through Optimzation of Reconstruction), whose mission is to advance the science of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA), immunomodulation, and regenerative medicine to optimize reconstructive potential for injured service members.