Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD

  • Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences
  • John and Gertrude Petersen Dean, School of Medicine
  • Professor of Psychiatry
  • Professor of Clinical and Translational Science
  • University of Pittsburgh

Anantha Shekhar serves as senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a nationally recognized educator, researcher, administrator and entrepreneur with major contributions in medicine and life sciences.

At Pitt, Dr. Shekhar leads the Schools of Dental Medicine, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health, which have driven education and research in their respective fields for more than a century, propelling scientific discoveries and clinical innovation that advance human health on an international scale.

Dr. Shekhar’s responsibilities include shaping the careers of more than 7,000 faculty and staff members, as well as the academic success of approximately 6,000 students annually, all while supporting Pitt’s position as a perennial top-10 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.

An accomplished neuroscientist, Shekhar led seminal research studies identifying novel treatments for schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders, and founded multiple biotech companies to develop these therapies for patient use. Prior to joining Pitt in 2020, he held roles of increasing leadership responsibility at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, the nation’s largest, for 37 years. He was awarded the President’s Medal of Honor (IU’s highest honor), as well as the Sagamore of the Wabash Award (the highest honor bestowed by the Governor of Indiana) for his transformative contributions to advancing life sciences research and innovation across IU and the state of Indiana.

Dr. Shekhar is a tenured member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation; and board member of the Clinical Research Forum in Washington D.C., which convenes leaders at the highest levels in academia, government, and industry to address challenges and opportunities in clinical research. He also serves on the Board of Directors at UPMC and UPMC’s Children’s, Magee-Womens, Presbyterian, and Shadyside Hospitals.

Dr. Shekhar, who was born in India, earned his medical degree at St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, and his PhD in neuroscience at Indiana University.