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Prabhakar K Baliga MD

Chair, Department of Surgery

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  • Professor
  • College of Medicine
  • Surgery
Academic Focus
  • liver and kidney transplantation
  • liver resection and bile duct reconstruction
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Prabhakar Baliga, M.D. is a Professor of Surgery and Chair of the MUSC Department of Surgery. He leads a diverse range of programs and services spanning ten clinical divisions and the Department’s research and education divisions. Dr. Baliga’s primary focus is on building a premier Department of Surgery that best meets the needs of South Carolinians and the students and surgical residents that come to MUSC to train. Prior to assuming the role as department Chair, he was Chief in the Division of Transplant Surgery and MUSC’s ICCE Leader for Transplant, Nephrology & Hepatology. 


Dr. Baliga obtained his medical degree from Madras Medical College, completed his internship and surgical residency at Tulane University Hospital Systems in New Orleans, and then fulfilled a two-year Transplant Surgery Fellowship at the University of Michigan. 


A nationally-recognized surgical leader, Dr. Baliga was honored with a nomination to serve on the on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation (ACOT). The  ACOT is composed of experts who provide advice and make recommendations to the Secretary, HHS, on matters pertaining to organ donation, procurement, allocation, and transplantation; maximizing the number of deceased donor organs available for transplantation and supporting the safety of living organ donation proposed policies of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and OPTN operations; along with providing expertise on the latest advances in the science of transplantation.


He has served on many committees within the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, including the Board of the Membership and Professional Committee. Additionally, he has served on the Board of Life Point, an organ procurement agency, the National Board of the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN), the Board for the United Network for Organ Sharing, and the Board of Directors for the South Carolina chapter of the National Kidney Foundation. 


Dr. Baliga serves on the Board of Governors for the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as the Surgical Specialty Society Governor from the Southern Surgical Association. The select group of Governors are surgical leaders who each serve as a communications link between their constituent Fellows of the College and the members of the Board of Governors. The ACS has more than 82,000 Fellows, including more than 6,600 Fellows in other countries, making it the largest organizations of surgeons in the world.


An accomplished research investigator, Dr. Baliga has published more than 100 papers and presented over 100 lectures related to his clinical and research interests. He has conducted HRSA and NIH-funded clinical research studies related to understanding the barriers to and facilitators of organ donation and the effective medical management of transplant recipients. His research has involved focus groups with physicians and staff, large survey studies, and interventional studies of kidney transplant recipients. In particular, focusing on health care delivery and racial disparities, utilizing patient navigators and mobile health technology. He has participated in national consensus conferences chairing sessions on racial disparities, and has a strong track record of collaborations across multiple centers.  


An integral part of the MUSC College of Medicine’s academic mission is education, Dr. Baliga is actively engaged in mentoring and supporting students in various capacities from high school and college students in summer programs to surgical postgraduates.