Division of Organ Transplantation

With kidney and liver transplant success rates well above the national average, our Division of Organ Transplantation has been committed to exceeding expectations of care and compassion for more than twenty-five years. We focus on creating a relationship of trust as we evaluate cases, add patients to the transplant candidate list, and ultimately complete life-saving transplants. Our collaborative team of transplant surgeons, hepatologists, nephrologists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, researchers, and data analysts total over fifty individuals working together to provide a successful path to organ transplantation that offers even the most challenging patients an opportunity for optimal experience and outcome.

Our Division’s commitment to patient care extends far beyond our office walls. We are performing ongoing research a wide range of topics to push the frontiers of transplantation surgery and medicine. We are also actively involved in the national societies and governing boards whose work set the policies that guide the future of transplantation.

Jonathan S. Fisher, MD, FACS (Division Head)
Surgical Director of Pancreas Transplantation
Transplantation Surgeon

Michelle D. Meyer, RN, CCRN, PHN, MBA, MSN
Program Director / Transplant Administrator

Transplantation Surgeons

Christopher L. Marsh, MD, FACS
Head, Division of Organ Transplantation
Surgical Director, Transplant Surgery
Transplantation Surgeon

Jonathan S. Fisher, MD, FACS
Surgical Director of Pancreas Transplantation
Transplantation Surgeon

Randolph L. Schaffer, MD, FACS
Surgical Director of Living Donation
Transplantation Surgeon

Angeles Baquerizo, MD, PhD, FACS
Transplantation Surgeon

Transplant Nephrologists

James C. Rice, MD, Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation
Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation

Dianne B. McKay, MD
Director of Renal Research
Scripps Research Professor of Immunology and Biochemistry

Transplant Hepatologists

Julio Gutierrez, MD
Scripps Mercy Hospital Care Pathway

Adam Desing, DO
Medical Director, Liver Transplantation

Jennifer Au, MD
Liver Tumor Board

Living Donor Advocate

Michelle D. Meyer, RN, CCRN, PHN, MBA, MSN

Transplant Advanced Practice Clinicians

Daniel Collins, PA-C Lead
Robert Allen, PA-C
Antoinette Busalacchi, PA-C
Jacob Mansy, PA-C
Joseph Murillo, MS, PA-C

Transplantation Research

Sunil Kurian, PhD
Allison Martin, CPT1

Our Transplantation Service out-patient clinic practice locations:

Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines

Organ Transplantation

Scripps Clinic Jefferson – Oceanside


Scripps Clinic Eastlake


Scripps Clinic Murrietta


Our Transplantation Service hospital practice locations:

Scripps Green Hospital

Center for Transplantation Surgery
Center for Hepatobiliary Surgery

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla


Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego


Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista


Featured Services

  • Kidney Transplantation

  • Liver Transplantation

  • Pancreas Transplantation

Recognitions & Awards

  • Created Scripps Clinic’s first Bio-Repository; a state-of-the-art facility that serves as a shared resource of biological samples for medical research organizations

  • Led the field of transplant showing the value of protocol biopsies and demonstrating how most patients do not require maintenance steroids to keep from rejecting their transplants.

  • Developed the kidney Living Donor Hero Walk for acknowledging the key role living donors play in kidney transplantation when as many as 100 hospital and transplant staff members line the hallway to applaud and cheer for donors as they are wheeled into the operating room.

  • Working to reduce the organ shortage by participating in one of the first major trials of pumping livers on a machine as a means of preserving them longer outside the body and resuscitating less optimal organs into more highly functioning ones.

  • Spearheading the Liver Outcome Monitoring Registry (LOMR), an online platform developed to enhance the transplant community’s understanding of the outcomes of marginal organs in liver transplantation and establish the optimal protocols for the use of these organs.

  • Our division handles the highest complexity procedures for the most challenging medical populations in order to assist our surgical and non-surgical colleagues with a host of diagnostic and therapeutic treatment options for patients.

The Division provides training opportunities for medical residents, fellows and students across the areas of abdominal organ transplantation, hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery, and general surgery. We offer non-ACGME fellowships in Hepatology and Transplant Surgery. We have also newly introduced the Fred and Betty Farago Fellowship in Organ Transplant, which provides the latest cutting-edge education and training with regard to the complex treatment and management of patients with both early and advanced stages of kidney and liver disease, in order to improve the quality of life for end stage renal and liver disease patients. This is a two year fellowship that is accredited with the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS).

For more information or to apply, please visit the Graduate Medical Education page.

SC Liver Research Consortium


Current Research Projects

  • International Randomized Trial to Evaluate The Effectiveness of The Portable Organ Care System (OCSTM) Liver For Preserving and Assessing Donor Livers for Transplantation (OCSTM Liver PROTECT Trial)
  • A Randomized, Controlled, Multi-center, Safety and Efficacy Study of FCR001 Cell-Based Therapy Relative to a Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate-Based Regimen in de novo Living Donor Renal Transplant Recipients, and Safety in FCR001 Donors. Final outcomes of the initial 20 subjects reaching 2 year follow up in the BRAVO Ventral Hernia Study_Final      Surgical site infections and occurrences (SSIs SSOs) after ventral hernia repair (VHR) with reinforced tissue matrix (RTM) 30-day data from the BRAVO study_Final
  • Identifying at Risk Patients after Transplant: Behavioral Patterns and Social Support as Predictors 
  • Cannabis and Other Substance Use in Solid Organ Transplant Patients
  • Donor Specific Antibodies in the Steroid Free Renal Transplant Population 
  • Molecular Biomarkers in Renal Transplantation via TruGraf Test
  • Gene Expression Profiling of Delayed Graft Function (DGF) in Peripheral Blood & Kidney Allografts 
  • Multiple Listing Practices for Kidney Transplantation
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex Expression in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Identification of Biomarkers Predicting Response to BCG Treatment in Bladder Cancer
  •  The Donor Application: Utilizing Social Media to Identify Potential Live Organ Donors
  • High Definition Single Cell Analysis of Blood and Tissue Biopsies in Patients with Colorectal Cancer undergoing Hepatic Metastasectomy (HD-SCA in CRC) 
  • The Role of Circulating Tumor Cells as an Adjunct to Clinical Staging and the Monitoring of Response to Therapy in Patients with or at-risk for HCC
  • Asymptomatic Bacteriuria & Risk of Urinary Tract Infection in Renal Transplants
  • Metabolomics Diagnostics Study of Liver Cancer and Hepatitis: A pilot trial for collecting blood samples from patients with liver cancer (HCC) and hepatitis B or C virus (HBV or HCV) to study and develop in-vitro diagnostics based on metabolomics analysis
  • TIPS Outcomes among Patients with High MELD: An AST LICOP Initiative
  • Observational Chart Review to Evaluate the Impact of Thymoglobulin Induction Therapy in Liver and Kidney Transplant Patients
  • Case Review of Acute Liver Injury from Hypothermia
  • A Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Emricasan, an Oral Caspase Inhibitor, in Subjects with Decompensated Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) Cirrhosis 
  • A Humanitarian Device Exemption Treatment Protocol of TheraSphere for Treatment of Unresectable Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Evaluation of Down-staging of Hepatocellular Carcinoma into Transplant Criteria
  • A Multi-Center, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Phase III Study to Evaluate the Efficacy & Safety of Elafibranor in Patients with Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and FibrosisA Multi-Center, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blinded Study to Confirm Efficacy and Safety of Terlipressin in Subjects with Hepatorenal Syndrome Type 1 (The CONFIRM Study) PROTOCOL NO.:MNK19013058 
  • Cell-free DNA based monitoring of Acute Kidney Injury in Kidney Transplant Recipients with Delayed Graft Function.
  • Metagenomic shotgun profiling of urinary, tissue and gut microbiomes to determine their impact on early post-transplant clinical outcomes in kidney transplant recipients.
  • Tandem Metagenomic and Metabolomic Profiling of Early Kidney Transplant Dysfunction.
  • Pilot studies on metagenomic profiles and sample collection methods in the early kidney transplant period

For research publications, please go to the SCMG Research & News Publication page.