South Carolina Investigators in Transplantation

The South Carolina Investigators in Transplantation (SCIT) is comprised of a group of basic science and translational investigators whose laboratories have a specific focus in transplant immunology. In South Carolina alone, there are approximately 1000 patients awaiting a life-saving organ.

For over 20 years, the Medical University of South Carolina has offered comprehensive care to South Carolinians with end-stage organ disease. The fundamental goal of the SCIT is to investigate novel and innovative methods to better care for patients who are in need of or who have received an organ transplant. Through scientific research we are committed to “changing what’s possible.” 

2020 SCIT Lecture

Christiane J. Ferran, M.D., Ph.D.

Lewis Thomas Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

SCIT Speakers:

  • 2019 - Greg Tietjen, Ph.D.
  • 2018 - Matthew Levine, M.D., Ph.D.
  • 2017 - Mark Nicolls, M.D.
  • 2016 - Qizhi Tang, Ph.D.
  • 2015 - Peter Heeger, M.D.
  • 2015 - Jason Wertheim, M.D., Ph.D.
  • 2014 - Kathryn J. Wood, D.Phil., F. Med. Sci.
  • 2014 - Andrew B. Adams, M.D., Ph.D. 


Carl Atkinson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology; co-director of SCIT

Dr. Atkinson’s research focuses on the interplay between the innate immune system and the development of adaptive anti-graft immune responses. His laboratory investigates the the role of complement in priming the adaptive immune response towards the graft at several key points in the transplantation process; brain death, ischemia reperfusion injury, acute and chronic rejection. In addition to understanding the mechanistic interplay between the complement system and the adaptive immune response a further focus of the laboratory is the development of targeted drug delivery systems to improve post transplant outcomes.

Satish N. Nadig, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Surgery, Microbiology and Immunology; co-director of SCIT

Dr. Nadig’s research focuses on immunoregulation and tolerance induction via novel drug delivery methods and use of regulatory T cells. Additionally, he is interested in humanized mouse models for pre-clinical in vivo assays.

Ann-Marie Broome, Ph.D., MBA

Associate Professor

Director of Molecular Imaging, Center for Biomedical Imaging director of Small Animal Imaging, Hollings Cancer Center

Dr. Broome's research focuses on bio-inspired nanotechnology and theranostic agents to facilitate detection, diagnosis, assessment, and prediction of treatment outcomes in transplantation. Her research aims to localize therapeutic response and create novel molecular imaging paradigms to monitor uptake, accumulation and activation of agents non-invasively and in real time using a variety of imaging modalities.

Zihai Li, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor & Chairman, Microbiology and Immunology

Dr. Li’s research focuses on the immunoregulation of the innate immune system focusing on heat shock proteins as well as toll-like receptors. Additionally, his lab also has an interest in harnessing the immunotherapeutic potential of pluripotent stem cells.

Stephen Tomlinson, Ph.D.

Professor and Vice Chair for Research,  Microbiology and Immunology

Dr. Tomlinson’s research focuses on the biology of the complement system. A major focus is the role of complement in ischemia reperfusion injury and the modulation of adaptive immune responses.

Chenthamarakshan Vasu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Microbiology & Immunology

Dr. Vasu’s research focuses developing engineered dendritic cell and artificial antigen presenting cell based tolerogenic approaches for transplant rejection and autoimmunity. These studies are focused on inducing antigen specific regulatory T cells and target specific immune tolerance. His Lab also conducts studies to understand the influence of innate immune receptors and gut microflora in peripheral immune homeostasis and regulatory T cell function.  Ultimate goal of these studies is to develop novel immunotherapies using beneficial microbial components.

Hongjun Wang, Ph.D.

Professor of Surgery

Dr. Wang’s research interest is islet biology, transplantation immunology in type 1 diabetes, and insulin signaling in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Her goal is to develop novel methods to increase the efficiency of islet transplantation and treatment of various types of diabetes.

Xue-Zhong Yu M.D., MS

Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Professor, Department of  Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology

Dr. Yu’s research focuses on the biology of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).  The ultimate goal of these studies is to prevent or treat GVHD while preserving the GVL effect, which could greatly enhance the therapeutic potential of HSCT.  Because T cells play central role to induce GVHD and mediate GVL effect, understanding T-cell response to allogeneic tissues versus tumor cells is critical for achieving this ultimate goal.  

Omar Moussa, M. Sc., Ph.D.

Associate Professor College of Medicine
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine