Christopher J. Sonnenday, M.D., MHS, Appointed Transplant Center Director

November 12, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Accolades and Milestones

Congratulations to Christopher J. Sonnenday, M.D., MHS! He has been appointed director of the University of Michigan Transplant Center, effective December 1, 2020.

As the director, Sonnenday will be responsible for development and execution of the Center’s strategic plan for patient care, research and education, including establishment of success metrics. The role also provides the leadership oversight of the Transplant Center’s operations and compliance/regulatory framework. The Transplant Center director works collaboratively with health system leadership and department chairs to recruit and retain faculty needed to meet the Transplant Center’s strategic plan.

Sonnenday received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University in 1997, and went on to complete his general surgery residency at the Johns Hopkins University in June of 2005. While a research fellow in transplantation from 2000 to 2003, he completed a Masters of Health Sciences in clinical investigation at the Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2003. After completion of his residency, Sonnenday continued on at Johns Hopkins as a fellow in surgical oncology and instructor of surgery until 2006, and he completed a fellowship in abdominal transplant surgery at the University of Michigan in 2008. He has a large clinical practice focused in liver transplantation, including living donation and hepatobiliary surgery for malignancy. He has most recently served as the surgical director of liver transplantation and living donor liver transplantation for Michigan Medicine, and serves as executive vice-chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Michigan. He has played a central role in the initial response of Michigan Medicine to the COVID-19 pandemic by creating and leading the S-AOD and ICU triage systems.

Sonnenday’s primary academic and research interests include the study of frailty and sarcopenia in liver transplant candidates, novel methods of patient selection in liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery, and quality collaboratives in transplantation. He is a respected voice in the transplant community for his technical expertise, patient advocacy and emphasis on collaboration. He is a popular speaker locally and nationally on transplantation and its interface with oncology, leadership in academic surgery and the topics of allyship and antiracism.