Two Surgeons Join Transplant Team

September 15, 2021

Two surgeons will join Stanford's Division of Abdominal Transplantation by the end of the year. Dr. Kazunari Sasaki will be a Clinical Associate Professor in the Clinical Educator Line and Dr. Varvara A. Kirchner will be an Associate Professor of Surgery in the University Medical Line.

"I am excited to announce the recruitment of these two outstanding transplant surgeons," said Division Chief Dr. Carlos Esquivel. "They bring an extensive experience in islet cell transplantation and 3D laparoscopic liver surgery, the latter aiding the growth of our living donor liver transplant program."

Dr. Kirchner received her medical degree, completed her surgical residency and did her multi-organ transplant fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Her clinical practice involves living and deceased donor liver and kidney transplantation in adult and pediatric patients as well as hepatobiliary surgery and total pancreatectomy with islet auto-transplantation for patients with chronic and acute recurrent pancreatitis. Dr. Kirchner’s research focuses on the biology of aging and transplantation, and her project on the impact of donor age on generation of iPSC-derived hepatocyte-like cells for cellular therapies to treat end-stage liver disease is supported by the NIA K08 Faculty Development Award.

Dr. Sasaki received his medical degree in 2004 from Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan and completed his general surgical training at Toranomon Hospital in Tokyo. He moved to the US in 2015 and completed a clinical fellowship in transplantation at Cleveland Clinic, where he was subsequently appointed to the surgical faculty. He specializes in liver transplantation and minimally invasive hepatobiliary surgeries.