Vaughn A. Starnes, MD, chair and Distinguished Professor of Surgery, has appointed Kenji Inaba, MD, associate professor of surgery (clinical scholar) and director of the general surgery program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, to the role of vice chair of the Department of Surgery.

“We’re doing surgery in so many locations now. A vice chair is crucial in a department this large,” said Starnes, the H. Russell Smith Foundation Chair for Stem Cell and Cardiovascular Thoracic Research. “Dr. Inaba is one of the bright young surgical luminaries of the future. He’s shown a lot of leadership in the trauma division and in his role as the program director for the general surgical residency program.”

Kenji Inaba

Inaba brings his understanding of graduate and undergraduate education to the role as well as his experience with research, grant funding and editorial board work. In March, he became a director of the American Board of Surgery, the national certifying organization for general surgeons and related specialists.

Inaba said that he looks forward to enriching the department’s faculty development and mentoring programs, as well as improving the department’s access to federal training grants. He is enthusiastic about taking on his new role.

“With any new position, there is always so much to learn and that’s exciting,” he explained. “This department is on a sharp upward trajectory, whether you look at clinical volumes, research output, or educational initiatives and trainees. It’s exciting to be able to make a small contribution to making it even better.”

— Lex Davis