January 29, 2010

Harvard’s Sandberg to lead Anesthesiology

Warren Sandberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Harvard’s Sandberg to lead Anesthesiology

Warren Sandberg, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School, will become chair of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, effective in April.

“As a former chair of Anesthesiology, I am very well aware of the critical role the department plays in so many of our activities as an academic health center,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “I am confident that Warren Sandberg will be a great leader and colleague.”

Warren Sandberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Warren Sandberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Sandberg joined the Harvard faculty in 1998. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Chicago in 1991, and his M.D. from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine in 1994.

He served his internship at the University of Chicago Hospitals, and was a resident and fellow in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“I have always thought that Vanderbilt would be a place I'd love to be a part of, and I saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Sandberg said. “It's the people, the organization, the capabilities and the way the people and the organization think that make it unique in the world."

Sandberg has a deep clinical and research interest in the development and use of informatics in anesthesiology, and said Vanderbilt's strong programs in informatics, quality and health outcomes research were important in his decision to accept the chairmanship.

“This will open exciting vistas for informatics and for the Vanderbilt Department of Anesthesiology,” he said.

Sandberg was identified and recruited through a nationwide search led by Sam Santoro, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Vanderbilt's Department of Pathology, who also cited Sandberg's work at the intersection of anesthesiology and informatics.

“Warren Sandberg stood out early in the search process as a visionary academic anesthesiologist,” Santoro said. “His own research focus on the application of informatics to improve anesthesia care is world class and a natural fit for Vanderbilt.”

R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences and a member of the search committee, also praised Sandberg.

“He will be an outstanding and welcomed partner in leading the organization's perioperative services,” Beauchamp said. “His expertise and experience in operational management will enable him to optimally utilize the advanced perioperative informatics technology that has been developed by the Department of Anesthesiology.

“He inherits an exceptionally strong department that is staffed by a highly professional group of anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists.”

Sandberg's wife, Elisabeth Sandberg, Ph.D., will also be coming to Vanderbilt. She has accepted a position as senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Science.