Patient Care

Entrepreneurs Fund Cardiac Surgery Professorship at University of Rochester

Nov. 30, 2017
Chief of Cardiac Surgery Sunil Prasad, M.D. named Sauer Family Distinguished Professor
From left: University of Rochester President Joel Seligman, Cardiac Surgery Chief Sunil Prasad, M.D., Eva Sauer, M.D., Jude Sauer, M.D., and Mark Taubman, M.D., URMC CEO.


The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry has received a $2 million gift from Jude S. Sauer, M.D. and his family to establish a distinguished professorship to be held by the chief of Cardiac Surgery.
Sunil Prasad, M.D., will serve as the inaugural Dr. Jude S. Sauer Family Distinguished Professor in Cardiac Surgery.
Sauer received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Rochester, as well as his surgical residency training. He is the founder, president and CEO of LSI SOLUTIONS®, a surgical research and manufacturing company providing innovation for minimally invasive surgery. The generosity of Sauer and his wife, Eva Sauer, M.D., LSI secretary and treasurer, is in recognition of their long partnership with the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC).
“URMC’s cardiac surgery team is world class in delivering outstanding patient outcomes and innovation for improved care,” said Jude Sauer, clinical assistant professor of Surgery. “This gift is very personal to me, because we have been a part of the University of Rochester for decades. I’m proud to support URMC.”
The Sauers met while working as researchers at URMC in the 1980s. They have worked closely with surgeons to develop new devices to improve surgical techniques and patient outcomes. Their locally manufactured products and licensed inventions have been used to treat tens of millions of patients throughout the world.
“It is a privilege to work with Dr. Jude Sauer and have the generous support of his family as URMC continues to advance cardiac care and save lives. I’m proud to be the first person to hold the Dr. Jude S. Sauer Family Distinguished Professorship in Cardiac Surgery,” said Prasad, who performs a range of complex surgical procedures, including heart transplantation and the use of left ventricular assist devices.
Prasad is an expert in the use of ECMO, or extra corporeal membrane oxygenation, a technique that uses a mechanical device to oxygenate the blood when the heart or lungs are failing. He helped pioneer the next generation therapy, known as “walking ECMO,” which allows patients to get out of bed and walk with a portable device, often reducing complications and improving patient outcomes.   
A graduate of Michigan State University and Duke University, Prasad studied medicine at the University of Illinois and trained in cardiothoracic surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.    
“We are grateful for the Sauer family’s gift to establish this professorship to further our patient care, research, and education missions,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., CEO of URMC and UR Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Surgery Chair David C. Linehan, M.D., the Seymour I. Schwartz Professor in Surgery, said, “The Sauers are tremendous supporters of URMC and we are delighted to see Sunil Prasad honored with this professorship.”