Mamta Sadanah Swaroop, MD, FACS
Mamta Swaroop was born in London, England, to immigrant Indian parents who stimulated her desire to effect change from a very young age. Before moving to Houston, Texas, at the age 4, her family lived in Tripoli (Libya) and New Delhi (India). Every summer of her childhood was spent in New Delhi with her extended family and friends. Appreciation of different cultures and fostering relationships from afar are things that she learned at a very young age. Her first language was Hindi, followed by English and then eventually, Spanish. Having mastered three languages allows her to be facile in maneuvering through a multitude of cultures and environments.
She was raised in Alief, one of the suburbs of Houston, and attended public high school in a gang-laden area. As an Advance Placement (AP) course student, she acquired a strong math and science education. However, she struggled in English as Hindi was her native language. Her friends varied from gang members and drug addicts to AP students to theater students. During middle school and high school, she lost many friends to violence and drugs. Her research and clinical work are motivated by these teenage experiences. She attended Texas A&M University, where she was a paramedic and volunteered with the local fire department and provided pre-hospital care throughout college. She graduated in December 1998 and spent the spring semester in India, returning to Texas as a volunteer paramedic. She majored in microbiology as she always thought she would become an infectious disease physician with a primary interest in HIV/AIDS patients.
She attended the University of Houston Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Her desire to have an international impact on medicine flourished. Between her second and third years of medical school, she went to the Kalavati Saran Children’s Hospital in New Delhi for a preceptorship on the Tuberculosis Pulmonary Ward. During her third and fourth years of medical school, Dr. Red Duke, MD, and Dr. Rosemary Kozar, MD PhD, nurtured her love of surgery and, ultimately, trauma and critical care. In her fourth year, she realized there was no place she belonged more than in the operating room.
She moved to Washington, DC, for a general surgery residency at the Washington Hospital Center. Dr. Michael Williams recognized her eagerness to participate in research. Under his guidance, she presented their trauma research at the Southeast Surgical Congress and the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma Meeting. For her outstanding performance, she was named Surgical Critical Care Resident of the Year at the end of her second year of residency. Her desire to pursue an academic career in surgery led her to complete residency at the University of South Florida, where she met her mentor, Dr. Suneel Kheterpal. He provided her the opportunity to participate in an international conference to promote emergency and trauma care in India, INDUS-EM. As a chief resident, she gave the keynote address at the INDUS-EM meeting in Manglore, India, and was rewarded for this honor with a visiting fellowship at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences JPN Apex Trauma Center in New Delhi. This cemented both her passion for global surgery and her desire to continue teaching, both within and outside of institutional boundaries.
Dr. Swaroop was honored to be one of two inaugural fellows of the Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine Surgical Critical Care Fellowship. The supportive environment created by Dr. Michael Shapiro allowed her to create a rotation at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences JPN Apex Trauma Center, where she experienced trauma volumes not imaginable in the US. Upon completion of the critical care fellowship, she joined the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University as an Assistant Professor in July of 2010.
She is now an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Trauma and Critical Care Surgery and is on the faculty of the Center for Global Health in the Institute for Public Health and Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. In 2011, she was asked to serve as the project adviser for the Northwestern University chapter of Project RISHI. Also in 2011, she and medical student Selma Siddiqui secured funding from the Center for Global Health at Northwestern University through the Global Health Initiative (GHI) for an injury prevention project in India and the first surgery-based project funded by the GHI. In 2012, Dr. Swaroop and another medical student taught a pilot course for trauma first responders in Bolivia—these three projects eventually grew into the Northwestern Trauma & Surgical Initiative, her global surgery lab.
Dr. Swaroop’s research focus is academic global surgery, including trauma education and prevention. She has served and serves on multiple national and international leadership boards, including the Association for Academic Surgery (AAS); the Indo-US Academic Council for Emergency and Trauma (ACET); the Global Alliance for Surgical, Obstetric, Trauma and Anaesthesia Care (G4 Alliance); the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST); and the WHO Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgery (GIEESC). She has coedited a book on academic global surgery.