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Young Surgeon-Scientist Receives Prestigious Award from the American Surgical Association Foundation

November 28, 2016

Joseph R. Scalea, MD

Joseph R. Scalea, MD, assistant professor of surgery in the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM), as well as Director of Pancreas and Islet Cell Transplantation in the Division of Transplantation in the UM SOM Department of Surgery, has received the American Surgical Association Foundation Fellowship. This prestigious award supports gifted young surgeons who choose careers in investigation and academic surgery.

The award, which is for $150,000, has been given out 54 times since 1982. It is given out annually to between one and three surgeons, and is open to American surgeons who have been in practice for less than five years.

Dr. Scalea has focused his research on innovative ways to suppress immunity. Transplant patients currently must take a powerful array of medicines to suppress the immune system. These drugs often work, but they also have serious side effects. Dr. Scalea is working on using naturally occurring white blood cells that capable of suppressing immunity. By increasing the number and potency of these cells, it may be possible to avoid using medicines, and thus decrease side effects.

Dr. Scalea has a Bachelor’s Degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and an MD degree from UM SOM. From 2009 to 2011, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Medical School Transplantation Biology Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior to returning to UM SOM earlier this year, he was a fellow at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Over his career, Dr. Scalea is the author of more than 40 peer-reviewed articles, six book chapters, and has given more than 30 local, national and international lectures.

“This is a richly deserved honor for Dr. Scalea,” said UM SOM Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor. “Our transplant division has long been a strength, and this award for a younger faculty member only underscores the fact that it will continue to be so.”

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

The University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 and is the first public medical school in the United States and continues today as an innovative leader in accelerating innovation and discovery in medicine. The School of Medicine is the founding school of the University of Maryland and is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. Located on the University of Maryland’s Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine works closely with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide a research-intensive, academic and clinically based education. With 43 academic departments, centers and institutes and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians and research scientists plus more than $400 million in extramural funding, the School is regarded as one of the leading biomedical research institutions in the U.S. with top-tier faculty and programs in cancer, brain science, surgery and transplantation, trauma and emergency medicine, vaccine development and human genomics, among other centers of excellence. The School is not only concerned with the health of the citizens of Maryland and the nation, but also has a global presence, with research and treatment facilities in more than 35 countries around the world.


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