Skip to main content

Melissa Chen, MD joined the Division of Abdominal Transplant as an Assistant Professor last Fall. We caught up with her to learn more about her background and goals.

Dr. Chen’s medical training began with Medical School at Tulane University School of Medicine. She then conducted research as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow within the Division of Transplantation at the Department of Surgery of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She completed her Residency in General Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, followed by a Fellowship in Abdominal Transplant Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.

What brought you to the Department of Surgery at UNC?

I was drawn to the mission of the University of North Carolina to serve all patients in the state, and to increase access to care for those who otherwise face barriers to getting treatment. I am excited to work with a team of dedicated medical doctors, surgeons, coordinators, pharmacists, and so many others. Further, it was important to me to be in an academic setting that would allow me to be involved with medical student and resident education.

What inspired you to become a doctor/surgeon in your current specialty? Has it met your expectations?

Surgery was something that has resonated with me from early in my medical school training. Transplantation as a sub-specialty stood out to me because of the opportunity to perform incredible operations in medically complex patients. To me, transplant is the ultimate “team sport” and it is rewarding to take part in the care of our patients

What are some goals you would like to achieve during your time with UNC Surgery?

My primary goal is to provide the best possible care to patients at UNC. I am fortunate to work with talented and dedicated people with similar aims. My research interests are in improving access and achieving equity for those who face barriers to getting healthcare.

What are the failures you most cherish? What did you learn from them?

There isn’t any one particular failure that stands out in mind, but my goal is to remain humble and see each setback as an opportunity for growth.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially if we can be outside and hiking!

How would you describe yourself in one word?


For more information about Dr. Chen, check out her UNC Surgery faculty profile or UNC Health Care profile (coming soon).