Watt Named Interim Chair of Department of Anesthesiology

Published January 6, 2023

Dr. Watt stands in a patient room wearing her lab coat.

I am pleased to share that Stacey A. Watt, MD, has been appointed as interim chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. She will assume her new duties in the first quarter of 2023.

Her leadership in clinical service and teaching will be fundamental to the ongoing growth of this already robust department, which has a proud history of nurturing current and future leaders in anesthesia.

A highly respected physician, Dr. Watt began her academic career more than 15 years ago. She will continue to wear many hats, including serving as program director of the anesthesia residency and pediatric anesthesia fellowship and clinical professor of anesthesiology at the Jacobs School. She is also the chief of anesthesia for Kaleida Health and site director for Oishei Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Watt’s specialties include malignant hyperthermia and heat-related illness and injury, as well as trauma and emergency preparedness, topics for which she has been a frequently sought-after lecturer internationally.

A gifted clinician-scientist, Dr. Watt’s expertise will be invaluable as we strive to take the medical school to national prominence as a Top 25 public research institution. Her research interests include studies of muscle breakdown in patients exposed to stressors such as heat or exercise. She has been a principal investigator on six studies, including most recently a nationwide data collection review of dantrolene administration. 

She has served in many editorial roles on anesthesiology journals and publications, writing more than 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters.

Dr. Watt is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology 
and earned a subspecialty certification in Pediatric Anesthesiology. She completed her medical degree at the SUNY Upstate Medical University, followed by a residency at University at Buffalo, where she was also fellowship-trained in pediatric anesthesia. In addition, she earned a Master of Health Professions Education from the University of Illinois Chicago, a Master of Business Administration from The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in microbiology and cell science.

She has earned recognition with numerous honors and awards, including the UB Department of Anesthesiology’s Program Appreciation Award, Distinguished Educator in Anesthesiology Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Society for Education in Anesthesia, and Citizen of the Year from the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Watt remains very active in the community, having served in board roles with Zonta International Grand Island Chapter, Medical Society of the County of Erie, Malignant Hyperthermia Board of Directors, and American Medical Women’s Association, among others. She is a strong advocate of STEM education in schools and women leadership in science and medicine, speaking often about both subjects. 

Also impressive is her athletic history. Dr. Watt is a two-time NCAA All-American. She represented the United States in the Pan American Games and U.S. Olympic Festival, and she still holds the Western New York discus record for high school athletes.   

We’re thrilled to have Dr. Watt bring her passion and vision to the Jacobs School in her new position.  

She succeeds Mark Lema, MD, who retired as chair in December.