Anantha Shekhar serves as senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a nationally recognized educator, researcher and entrepreneur with major contributions in medicine and life sciences.
At Pitt, Dr. Shekhar leads all six health sciences schools that, for more than a century, have led education and research in their respective fields, propelling scientific discovery and clinical innovation that advance human health. Education at the schools of the health sciences—Dental Medicine, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health—emphasizes individualized curricula and inter-professional team-based instruction to train students in the core competencies of their chosen health professions while also preparing them as advocates, innovators and stewards of responsible, inclusive health care delivery.
Dr. Shekhar’s responsibilities include shaping the careers of more than 6,000 faculty and staff members, as well as the academic success of approximately 5,000 students annually, all while supporting Pitt’s position as a top-ranked recipient of National Institutes of Health research dollars. He also works closely with UPMC, one of the largest academic medical centers in the nation, to ensure that health care delivery, biomedical research, and education—already among the nation’s elite—continue to flourish.
Innovation, transformation and successful collaborations across the private, public and philanthropic sectors have defined Dr. Shekhar’s distinguished career. His areas of expertise include basic and clinical research on the effects of stress, stress-induced psychiatric disorders, and clinical psychopharmacology. His laboratory has developed several translational models for psychiatric disorders as well as identified novel targets for neuropsychiatric disorder treatments in commercial development. A number of grants from the NIH, private foundations and commercial collaborations have supported his research. He has co-authored more than 200 original scientific papers published in leading basic science and clinical journals. He is a founder of multiple biotech companies developing novel therapies.
Dr. Shekhar is an elected member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation.
Dr. Shekhar, who was born in India, earned his medical degree at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, and Ph.D. in neuroscience at Indiana University.