Dr. Shunji Sano is a pediatric heart surgeon who treats children born with heart defects. Over the course of his career, Sano has performed more than 7,000 pediatric cardiac surgeries.
Sano is world renowned for surgical innovation. He pioneered a procedure to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome that is now called the Sano procedure and used by many pediatric cardiac surgeons throughout the world. His research interests include heart stimulation, neonatal surgery and progenitor cell therapy — also called stem cell therapy.
After earning his medical and doctoral degrees at Okayama University Medical School in Japan, Sano completed residencies in general surgery at Okayama University Hospital and Hiroshima City Hospital. He completed fellowships in cardiovascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and pediatric cadriothoracic surgery at Hyogo Kenritsu Amagasaki Hospital, Okayama University Medical School, Green Lane Hospital in New Zealand and the Royal Children's Hospital in Australia.
Sano became the youngest consultant cardiac surgeon in pediatrics at Royal Children's Hospital at age 37. At age 41, he became the youngest professor and chairman at Okayama University Medical School and served in those posts for 24 years.