Yuan Zhai, M.D. Ph.D. Joins the Department of Surgery

June 20, 2022
Yuan Zhai

Yuan Zhai, M.D., Ph.D. joins the MUSC Department of Surgery as a Professor of Surgery, effective July 1. Dr. Zhai is a well-funded, nationally-renowned basic science researcher in organ transplantation who aspires to help patients minimize the use of immunosuppressive drugs by therapeutically establishing/enhancing their transplant-specific immune regulatory functions or tolerance. In his research endeavors, he collaborates with clinicians to test novel molecules and pathways derived from animal studies as markers of tissue injury and inflammation, with the goal to translate research into clinical application.


At MUSC, he will lead the MUSC Transplant Research Laboratory, where he will work in concert with transplant surgeon and Vice Chair of Innovation Joseph Scalea, M.D. and Dirk van der Windt, M.D. Ph.D. who joins the division as an Assistant Professor in September. “Collectively, this team brings a wealth of research knowledge related to transplant immunology and ischemia and reperfusion injury in solid organ transplant,” said Derek DuBay, Chief of Transplant Surgery.

Dr. Zhai joins us from UCLA, where was a Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine, where as an integral part of his academic research training the next generation of scientists has been an important component in his laboratory. Since 2004, more than 20 postdoctoral fellows and college students have been involved in his research projects.

He serves on multiple journal editorial boards, including Transplantation (associate editor), Frontiers in Transplantation (associate editor), Frontiers in Immunology (associate editor), Transplantation Review, and  Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Diseases International. Dr. Zhai is an active member of the American Association of Immunologists, the American Society of Transplantation, and the American Society of Transplant. 

Dr. Zhai received his Ph.D. in Transplant Immunology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and completed post-doctoral training at the University of California – Los Angeles School of Medicine and the University of Oxford, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology.