Dr. David Shibata Named Chair of Surgery for the College of Medicine at UT Health Science Center

David Shibata
David Shibata, MD, FACS, FASCRS,  is the new chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

David M. Stern, MD, Robert Kaplan Executive Dean for the College of Medicine and Vice Chancellor of Clinical Affairs for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has named David Shibata, MD, FACS, FASCRS, the Scheinberg Endowed Chair of Surgery for the UTHSC Department of Surgery following a national search. In addition, Dr. Shibata will serve as a professor in the department. He will assume his new responsibilities on September 1, relocating to Memphis after 11 years living and working in Tampa, Florida. Most recently Dr. Shibata was a Professor of Surgery and Oncology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, plus Senior Member and Chief of the Section of Colorectal Oncology at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa.

Dr. Shibata is assuming the role vacated by Timothy C. Fabian, MD, who, in January, announced his intention to step down after more than 14 years as chair for the UTHSC Department of Surgery. Dr. Fabian will remain a UTHSC professor in the department, fulfilling his ongoing academic, clinical and research activities.

“Dr. Shibata brings a powerful combination of clinical, academic, research and leadership skills to this position,” Dean Stern said. “He has proven expertise at organizing important initiatives, meeting institutional goals, and identifying talent. Couple these attributes with his ability to build solid peer-to-peer and partner relationships, and you have an outstanding choice for the next Surgery chair.”

Reporting directly to Dr. Stern, Dr. Shibata’s responsibilities as chair will include supervision of approximately 50 faculty members and 50 residents participating in research, education and clinical services at affiliated hospitals that include Methodist UT Hospital, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Regional One Health, St. Francis Hospital, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. The divisions within the Department of Surgery include general surgery, surgical oncology, thoracic surgery, pediatric surgery, transplant surgery, trauma/surgical critical care, cardiac surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and vascular surgery.

Working in tandem with UTHSC leaders, the new Surgery chair will develop and execute a strategic plan, lead a comprehensive surgical clinical service, lead a clinical and basic science research program, and provide leadership that results in growth and enhanced excellence within the department. Through recruitment, hiring, retention, development and support of outstanding faculty and staff, Dr. Shibata will strive to strengthen and enhance the department’s academic, research and clinical excellence.

With more than 24 years of experience, Dr. Shibata has held academic appointments and been employed at several world-renowned institutions including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, where he completed his residency in General Surgery and a research fellowship in Cancer Biology; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York, where he completed a clinical fellowship in Surgical Oncology; and the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was Assistant Professor of Surgery.

Dr. Shibata is an internationally recognized authority in the multidisciplinary management of colorectal cancer and, in particular, brings significant expertise in minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgical approaches. At Moffitt Cancer Center, he served as Medical Director of both the Colorectal Cancer Survivorship and Hereditary and High Risk Colorectal Cancer Clinics. He is consistently listed among “America’s Top Doctors” and the “Best Doctors in America.” In addition, Dr. Shibata serves as a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines panel for colon and rectal cancer, as well as the Lower GI Expert Panel for the American Joint Commission on Cancer. He has served on the Executive Council of the Society of Surgical Oncology and holds numerous committee appointments in multiple national surgical societies.

An accomplished clinical, translational and laboratory research investigator, Dr. Shibata has published more than 100 peer reviewed publications, reviews and book chapters. To date he has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on grants and awards, including those from the National Institutes of Health, totaling more than $10 million.

Dr. Shibata brings substantial experience as a medical educator, having served for a decade as the Associate Program Director for Moffitt Cancer Center’s Surgical Oncology Fellowship and the Site Director for the University of South Florida College of Medicine’s General Surgery residency. While at Moffitt, he was the recipient of multiple teaching and mentorship awards.

Co-chairing the search committee that recruited Dr. Shibata were Lee S. Schwartzberg, MD, FACP, division chief of Hematology at UTHSC, and Medical Director, the West Cancer Center, and Sandeep Samant, MD, professor and vice chair in the UTHSC Department of Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery), and division chief for Head and Neck Surgery. An external search firm that specializes in health care leadership assisted the committee.