Sanchez named Sicard professor of vascular surgery

Luis A. Sanchez, MD, has been named the inaugural Gregorio A. Sicard Distinguished Professor of Vascular Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“We are pleased to be able to recognize and support outstanding faculty with appointments to endowed professorships,” says Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “Luis Sanchez is an individual known for his remarkable skills as a surgeon as well as his talents as an educator of future physicians. This appointment is all the more special because the professorship is named to honor another great faculty member, Greg Sicard.”

Sanchez, the recently named chief of the section of vascular surgery at the School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, is highly regarded for his expertise in vascular and endovascular surgery.

Sanchez was installed as the Sicard Professor by Wrighton and by Larry J. Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

“This professorship recognizes Luis Sanchez for his surgical talent and his commitment to training young medical students, residents and fellows,” Shapiro says. “Under his leadership and with the resources of this professorship, Luis will help the vascular team grow and expand its clinical and academic missions.”

Sanchez was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1983 and a medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1987. He completed surgical training at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, where he also held his first academic positions.

He joined Washington University School of Medicine in 1999 as an associate professor of both surgery and radiology. In 2011, he was named chief of the section of vascular surgery.

“Like Greg Sicard, Dr. Sanchez is an internationally known innovator of endovascular surgery,” says Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, the Bixby Professor and head of the Department of Surgery, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor and director of the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. “His contributions have helped transform the field. We are looking forward to his leadership of our program in vascular surgery and keeping it the national leader that it is.”

Gregorio A. Sicard, MD, for whom the professorship is named, is the Eugene M. Bricker Chair of Surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

“It is an honor to have a professorship named after Dr. Sicard, who has been such an important member of the Department of Surgery at Washington University for the past 30 years,” Sanchez says. “He’s a nationally and internationally known vascular surgeon who has been a great leader in our field. Vascular surgeons worldwide have come to Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University over the decades to learn from him because of his skills in surgery and patient care.”

Sicard was raised in a rural community outside of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and followed his father’s footsteps into a career in medicine and surgery. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Saint Louis University in 1965 and worked for Sigma Chemical Co. in St. Louis. Sicard later attended medical school at the University of Puerto Rico, earning a degree in 1972.

Sicard has spent his entire medical career at Washington University, with numerous leadership roles in the Department of Surgery. He is now the department’s executive vice chairman.

“It is an honor and privilege to have an endowed professorship bear my name,” Sicard says. “And I’m very proud that Luis Sanchez will be the first to hold it. He’s an outstanding academic surgeon, and he is going to take vascular surgery to new heights at Washington University. He encompasses all the attributes of a great clinician, surgeon and educator.”

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.