New Faculty Our Faculty Recognition

Kaneko Named Chief of Cardiac Surgery

Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD, a leading cardiac surgeon with expertise in transcatheter therapeutics and minimally invasive surgery, joins the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as new section chief of cardiac surgery.

Kaneko, who has also been named the Shoenberg Professor of Surgery, specializes in transcatheter and endovascular approaches to cardiac surgery, including transcatheter aortic valve repair (TAVR), transcatheter mitral and tricuspid valve repair and replacement, and endovascular thoracic aortic aneurysm repair. Moreover, he specializes minimally invasive and complex valvular and aortic surgery, such as complex mitral valve repair, aortic valve repair and Ross procedure.

“Dr. Kaneko has proven himself to be a world-renowned leader in the field of cardiac surgery,” says Department of Surgery Chair John Olson Jr., MD, PhD. “His clinical skill in complex valvular heart disease, his commitment to patient outcomes, and his dedication to training future cardiothoracic surgeons align with the core mission of the Department of Surgery at Washington University.”

Kaneko earned his medical degree from Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan. He then completed training programs at Keio University in general and cardiac surgery before coming to the US. Kaneko finished his general surgery training at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and then his cardiothoracic surgery residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He then spent one year in the catheterization laboratory at Brigham to gain expertise in transcatheter valve therapies.

Tsuyoshi Kaneko, MD

Before joining the faculty at Washington University, Kaneko spent eight years at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, where he served as Surgical Director of the Structural Heart Program, Director of Aortic and Endovascular Surgery, and Director of Clinical Outcomes Research.

Kaneko led the largest structural heart program in New England through numerous clinical innovations. He initiated several new surgical techniques, partnering with interventional cardiologists, using TAVR valve inside the mitral annular calcification to prevent obstruction during mitral valve replacement. Kaneko also started the fast-track program in TAVR, performed first transcaval TAVR and other cautery based transcatheter procedures, and the first enhanced recovery after surgery programs for cardiac surgery at the Brigham.

“It is very exciting to join an institution with such a rich tradition and history, and to be part of the legacy,” says Kaneko. “There are multiple exciting innovations that are occurring in the field of cardiac surgery. My goal is for Wash U to lead these innovations in cardiac surgery.”

Kaneko’s primary research interest focuses on clinical outcomes of surgical and transcatheter valvular and aortic disease. He has been a site PI or sub-PI on over 20 clinical trials and has been on the national steering or leadership committee of four major clinical trials. He has over 200 peer reviewed publications, as well as more than 20 review articles and nine book chapters. He has held leadership roles in many of national organizations, including the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS), Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology (ACC). He is the current Chair of the STS/ACC TVT Registry Research and Publication committee and Vice Chair of the STS New Technology and Innovation Workforce.

As an educator, Kaneko has demonstrated a high level of commitment to training future leaders in cardiothoracic surgery. He has served as program director for multiple fellowships and associate program director for the cardiothoracic surgery residency at the Brigham. In these roles, he has trained surgeons to utilize transcatheter valve replacement skills in their surgical practice. His trainees have gone on to take positions at leading academic medical centers across the country and internationally. Kaneko won the Lawrence Cohn Teaching Award at Harvard Medical School twice, as well as the 2022 Dwight McGoon Award from the Thoracic Surgery Resident Association.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Kaneko join us as our new Chief of Cardiac Surgery,” says Division Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery Ralph Damiano Jr., MD. “He will bring his superb clinical, research and leadership skills to Washington University/Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and build on our legacy as one of the top academic units in the world.”