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Dr. Tetsuro Sakai to Become Chair of UNC Anesthesiology

Tetsuro (Ted) Sakai, MD, PhD, MHA, FASAWe are proud to share that Tetsuro (Ted) Sakai, MD, PhD, MHA, FASA, has accepted the distinguished role of the new Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of North Carolina (UNC).

Dr. Sakai earned his MD and his PhD from Kyoto University in Japan. After completing an internship and cardiovascular surgery residency at Tenri Hospital, Nara, Japan, he completed clinical and research fellowships at the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at Toronto Hospital before relocating to Pittsburgh in 1999 to serve as a Visiting Instructor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery at UPMC. Upon completing his anesthesiology residency here at UPMC in 2005, he joined the faculty in our department and became a member of the hepatic transplantation anesthesiology team at UPMC Presbyterian/Montefiore. Dr. Sakai was promoted to Professor in 2014. In addition to his appointment as Professor in our department, he is also a Professor at Pitt’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute and a faculty member of the McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine. He received an MHA from Penn State University in 2017. Since 2019, he has served in the executive leadership positions of Vice Chair for Professional Development and Chair of the Faculty Academic Promotions Committee in our department. In these roles, he has provided exemplary executive leadership in the professional and career development of our faculty.

Dr. Sakai has made significant contributions in teaching and mentoring. He’s served as the inaugural Director of our Resident Research Rotation since 2006 and as our inaugural Director of Scholarly Development since 2015. He served as Associate Program Director of our residency program from 2016-2020. His track record of supporting and mentoring both faculty and trainees in the development of scholarly skills has been exceptional and his expertise in scholarly education has been widely recognized. In 2019, he received the Distinguished Educator in Anesthesiology Award from the American Society of Anesthesiology and the Society for Education in Anesthesia (SEA) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to anesthesiology education.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Sakai has served as a member and in leadership positions of many professional societies in our field, most notably the Association of University Anesthesiologists (AUA), the Society for the Advancement of Transplant Anesthesia (SATA), and the SEA. He was elected to the AUA in 2013 and served as an inaugural member of AUA’s Leadership Advisory Board (LAB) from 2020-2023 and served as the Chair of the LAB as of this year. He’s been a member of the AUA’s Mentorship Program Subcommittee since 2022. He served as SATA’s Secretary from 2017-2019 and as President of SATA from 2021-2023. Since 2020, he has served as Chair of the SEA Research Committee and in 2022, served as the Chair for the Spring SEA Meeting.

Dr. Sakai has been an author or coauthor on over 110 peer-reviewed publications, including more than 70 original articles/guidelines, over 20 review articles, and over 25 case reports. He has also authored/co-authored 25 non-peer-reviewed papers. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia and serves as an Associate Editor of the journals Seminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular AnesthesiaBioMed Central Anesthesiology, and Clinical Transplantation.

As Dr. Sakai embarks on this new chapter at UNC, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to him for his well-deserved appointment. While we are sad to say goodbye after his impressive 23 years with our department, we take pride in his continued success and eagerly anticipate the transformative leadership he will undoubtedly bring to his new role.