Monthly News Roundup

November 30, 2022
News Roundup

MUSC Surgeons Perform First DCD Heart Transplant in South Carolina

Arman Kilic, M.D., surgical director of the MUSC Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Program, led the surgical team who transplanted the first heart in South Carolina obtained by donation after circulatory death (DCD). They worked in partnership with Transmedics, a medical device company that created an ex vivo perfusion machine to keep organs functional and healthy during their journey from donor to recipient. Dr. Kilic explained that organs obtained by DCD have previously posed challenges because of questions about functional quality, ethical considerations and logistical issues. “With the Transmedics system we can now safely use DCD organs,” he said. “And we can also use the system to utilize brain-dead donors that have high risk criteria.” Both options will allow MUSC to expand access to donor organs for the many patients who need them. Read more

Global Surgery Program Aims to Improve Global Surgical Care Through Education, Research, and Innovation

The MUSC Department of Surgery recently announced the launch of a new Global Surgery Program led by Mike M. Mallah, M.D., a trauma surgeon with an extensive background in global surgery. The program’s infrastructure will include a research component, an educational component, and a partnership with international institutions. The Global Surgery program kick-off event drew a large crowd of multi-disciplinary clinicians, staff, and students, including non-surgeons. According to Dr. Mallah, the diversity of the group, both in terms of specialties represented and the level of training from students to faculty, demonstrates the profound desire on campus for international engagement. Interest has grown since the initial meeting, and a pipeline to the development of the program is emerging. Read more

Rohit Mittal, M.D. Joins the Department of Surgery

Pediatric surgeon Rohit Mittal, M.D. joins the Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery as an Assistant Professor of Surgery, effective December 1, 2022. Prior to joining MUSC, Dr. Mittal was an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. He also served as the Director of the Burn Reconstruction Program and Burn Outcomes Research at Grady Memorial Hospital, Burn Center. At MUSC, Dr. Mittal will be an integral part of the South Carolina Pediatric Burn Center, based at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, serving as the Pediatric Burn Director. His expertise in burn surgery will help facilitate the development of a Pediatric Wound Care Program. Dr. Mittal will also care for adult patients on the Trauma/Burn Service.

TTVIP Client Advocates Donnie Singleton and Keith Smalls Honored During the MUSC Values in Action Awards Ceremony

MUSC Turning the Tide Client Advocates Donnie Singleton and Keith Smalls were recognized for their significant contributions to improving the lives of patients who have survived gun violence during the Value in Action Awards Ceremony, where they were both honored in the Respect Category. Both men were recognized for their tireless work to improve the lives of young men and women survivors of gun violence.

Heart Transplant Delivers Durable, Growing Valves for Repair of Critical Congenital Heart Defects

The trauma of birth followed by the trauma of surgery is a lot for a newborn to take on, but for babies born with critical congenital heart defects it is part of the fight for survival. And if the defect repair requires new heart valves, the initial repair surgery is just the first of many battles, including multiple open heart procedures, with all the risks, hardships and recovery involved. Wanting to find a better way, pediatric cardiac surgeon T. Konrad Rajab, M.D. hatched the concept of partial heart transplantation to give children with valve defects the solution they need. Read more

News and Announcements

  • Transplant surgeon Joe Scalea, M.D. was honored with the 2023 ASTS Rising Stars in Transplantation Surgery Award. The ASTS Rising Stars in Transplantation Surgery Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant, profound, or potentially transformative contribution to the discipline.
  • HPB surgeon Katie Morgan, M.D. received notification for renewal as a National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) Center for Excellence. According to the NPF website, NPF Centers for Excellence are at premier healthcare facilities that focus on the multidisciplinary treatment of pancreas disease, treating the “whole patient” with a focus on the best possible outcomes and improved quality of life.
  • Kevin Hughes, M.D., director of cancer genetics at Hollings, is the speaker at the first “Cancer Connections” lecture and reception, which will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, December 1 in the Hollings Cancer Center Auditorium, room 120. Dr. Hughes will present on the Hollings Hereditary Cancer Clinic. To attend, RSVP to 
  • Pediatric surgeon Christian Streck, M.D. was named to serve as an At-Large Member Director on the MUSC Physicians Board.
  • In a recent paper in Cell Press, Meenal Mehrotra, Ph.D. and her team look at regulatory T cells as a source of brittle bone disease.
  • Morgan Overstreet, M.S. was recognized for outstanding work in the workplace with the quarterly W.O.W. award.

Education News

A study published in Circulation: Heart Failure, co-authored by cardiothoracic resident Jennie Kwon, M.D. and colleagues showed patients with heart transplants involving donation after circulatory death have no detectable difference in survival compared with those with hearts donated after brain death. Jennie H. Kwon (first author), Alexander D. Ghannam, Khaled Shorbaji, Brett Welch, Z.A. Hashmi, Ryan J. Tedford and Arman Kilic (senior author)