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Tetsuro Sakai, MD, PhD, MHA, FASA

  • Vice Chair for Professional Development
  • Chair, Academic Promotions Committee
  • Professor, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Professor, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
  • Faculty Member, McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Sakai earned his MD in 1989 and his PhD in 2001 (cardiovascular surgery) from Kyoto University in Japan. After completing a cardiovascular surgery residency in 1995 at Tenri Hospital, Nara, Japan, he became a board-certified cardiovascular surgeon in Japan. After completing clinical and research cardiovascular fellowships at the University of Toronto, Dr. Sakai relocated to Pittsburgh as a visiting instructor of thoracic organ transplant surgery at UPMC in 1999. Upon completing his anesthesiology residency at UPMC in 2005, he joined the faculty in the Department of Anesthesiology. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010, then to Professor in 2014.  

His 138 scientific publications (Scopus H-index of 30) cover numerous topics, including transplantation anesthesiology and anesthesia education. He is recognized as one of the leaders of transplant anesthesiology. He is President of the Society for the Advancement of Transplant Anesthesia (2021-2023) and was co-editor of a comprehensive transplant anesthesiology textbook entitled Anesthesia and Perioperative Care for Organ Transplantation (Springer Inc.) in 2017. He serves as Associate Editor of Clinical Transplantation and Seminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia. He is a nationally recognized anesthesia educator. He received the Distinguished Educator in Anesthesiology Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Society for Education (SEA) in Anesthesia in 2019 and serves as the Chair of the SEA Research Committee. Dr. Sakai was elected to the Association of University Anesthesiologists in 2013 (Active Member).

    Education & Training

  • Master of Health Administration (MHA), Pennsylvania State University (2017)
  • Anesthesiology Residency, UPMC (2002-2005)
  • Internship, Internal Medicine, UPMC (2001-2002)
  • PhD (Medicine: Cardiovascular Surgery), Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan (2001)
  • Clinical/Research Fellowship, Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Toronto (1996-1999)
  • Cardiovascular Surgery Residency, Tenri Hospital, Nara, Japan (1991-1995)
  • Internship,Tenri Hospital, Nara, Japan (1989-1991)
  • MD, Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan (1989)
Representative Publications

Some of ​Dr. Sakai's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Research, Clinical, and/or Academic Interests

Dr. Tetsuro Sakai’s current research interests include abdominal transplant anesthesiology and anesthesiology education, especially related to the facilitation of scholarly activity among anesthesiology residents. He created and directs our department’s Faculty Mentor-Mentee Program and directs our Faculty Development Program.


Abdominal transplantation anesthesiology