Joseph Scalea, MD
Dr. Scalea is a multi-organ transplant surgeon, innovator, and entrepreneur dedicated to saving lives. He is a professor of surgery and immunology and thought leader in transplantation. As a high-energy healthcare leader, he has a passion for building large, empowered teams that seek to dream big, improve efficiency, and exceed goals.
As an entrepreneur, Dr. Scalea co-founded 2 companies: MediGO, a healthcare supply chain technology company and MissionGO, an unmanned aviation and services organization. These rapidly growing ventures won the Thomas Edison award and MediGO was recognized by FAST Company magazine as a World Changing Idea.
Surgically, Dr. Scalea has worked with, built, and led some of largest organ transplant programs in the country. He is presently the director of kidney transplantation at MUSC, which performs 400+ kidney transplants per year. He has been nationally recognized for the highest quality pancreas transplant program in the United States, while also driving the highest volumes. He is presently Vice Chair of surgery where he helps faculty members understand the commercial potential of surgical innovations.
Within transplantation, Dr. Scalea and his quality teams are working hard to help centers scale operative volumes without sacrificing quality, by leveraging technology to enhance the peri-transplant workflow. Alongside bioinformatics experts, his quality team efforts are directed toward building tools that automate patient medical record analysis to instantly generate lists of patients who could be at risk for graft failure, tools for bidirectional patient communication, and enhanced patient education strategies.
Dr. Scalea is the Executive Medical Director for MUSC Health Solutions, an organization that assesses and commercializes internal technologies as well as early stage external technologies. In this role, Dr. Scalea helps guide MUSC Health Innovation strategic investments, and he guides technology development and implementation. Current investment activities include innovations in mobile-first patient-centered telehealth platforms, sleep science innovations, various MedTech concepts, and a technology-leveraged concierge surgical care model for elite athletes.
Dr. Scalea has led multiple Innovation and scientific ventures including the conceptualization, design, and development of the first platforms for monitoring and moving human organs. He envisioned, built tech for, patented, and subsequently performed, the first-ever transplant of a human organ moved by drone. This innovation was featured in the NYT, Fox, CNN, WSJ, JAMA-Surgery, and other scientific outlets. The media around this event went viral, generating more than 10M views in <48 hours, and with a PR reach touching an estimated 1 B people.
Beyond commercialization, Dr. Scalea is an NIH-funded director of a translational immunology laboratory and has published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles. Beyond studying organ logistics, Dr. Scalea is interested in eliminating the needs for anti-rejection drugs in transplant patients using novel fusion proteins which leverage the suppressive capacity of MDSCs.
Dr. Scalea is a loving father and husband who loves to paint and sail when he is not operating.