Dr. Yasufuku is the epitome of what the Sakura Award represents. One of the most internationally renowned surgeons with unique expertise in minimally invasive, image-guided and robotic diagnostics and therapeutics for lung cancer, Dr. Yasufuku has established UHN as the world’s foremost centre of excellence for the development of new surgical techniques and technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. In addition to his focus in lung cancer, Dr. Yasufuku is also a surgeon in the Lung Transplant Program at UHN – the largest and most successful program of its kind in the world.
Dr. Yasufuku graduated from Japan’s Chiba University School of Medicine in 1992, where he also completed his Doctor of Medicine in 2002. Prior to joining UHN in 2008, he had been a staff surgeon at Chiba University since 2003. Among his many leadership roles at UHN, Dr. Yasufuku is Director of the Interventional Thoracic Surgery Program; Head of the Robotic Thoracic Surgery Program; and Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Program.
Training young surgeons and scientists is a key focus for Dr. Yasufuku, and he has developed a robust Fellowship Program at UHN. Fellows are specialists who are dedicating themselves to the development of highly skilled and complex techniques. Having completed their medical degrees and residencies, they are able to train in a highly complex sub-specialty such as lung cancer by working under the guidance of experienced specialists. They return to their home countries to assume leadership positions, improving healthcare around the globe. Dr. Yasufuku’s laboratory has a rich tradition of fellowship exchange with Japanese universities, fostering knowledge exchange and scientific collaboration between Canada and Japan.