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The Sahker Lab

Meet our Members

Ethan Sahker, PhD

Lab Director

 Dr. Sahker is a Junior Associate Professor in the Center for Medical Education and Internationalization, Graduate School of Medicine, at Kyoto University in Japan. He earned my PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Iowa, completed his pre-doctoral internship at the University of California San Diego/Veterans Affairs hospital, and completed a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science postdoctoral fellowship at Kyoto University in the Graduate School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

His research primarily focuses on addiction and depression. Additionally, he contributes to multiple interdisciplinary projects as a content specialist in clinical psychology, and as a methodology specialist in clinical epidemiology, meta-analysis, and randomized controlled trials.

Dr. Sahker is originally from Denver, Colorado, USA. He relocated to Japan in 2019. His favorite things to do in Japan are eating delicious food and going to onsen (hot springs). He especially loves doing day-long luxury super sento (giant public baths) relaxation days with his wife. His favorite Japanese foods are soba (Sofuan in Gunma-ken is his favorite so far) and osechi ryori on New Years Day.

 
 

Selected Publications

Sahker E, Furukawa TA, Luo Y, Ferreira ML, Okazaki K, Chevance A, Markham S, Ede R, Leucht S, Cipriani A, Salanti G. (2024). Estimating the Smallest Worthwhile Difference (SWD) of Antidepressants: A Cross-Sectional Survey. BMJ Mental Health, 27:1–8. doi: 10.1136/bmjment-2023-300919
Garrison YL, Luo Y, Sahker E. (2024). Integration of substance use disorder treatment in traditional mental health facilities: Timeseries and cross-sectional evaluations. International Journal of Drug Policy, 124:104312. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2023.104312
Sahker E, Pro G, Poudyal H, Furukawa TA. (2023). Evaluating the substance use disorder treatment gap in the US, 2016-2019: A population health observational study. American Journal on Addictions. 33(1), 36-47. doi: 10.1111/ajad.13465
Lin YH, Sahker E, Shinohara K, Horinochi H, Ito M, Lelliott M, Cipriani A, Tomlinson A, Baethge C, Furukawa TA. (2022). Assessment of blinding in randomized controlled trials of antidepressants for depressive disorders 2000–2020: A systematic review and meta-analysis. eClinicalMedicine, The Lancet Discovery Science, 50:101505.
Sahker E, Luo Y, Sakata M, Toyomoto R, Hwang C, Yoshida K, Watanabe N, Furukawa TA. (2022). Efficacy of brief intervention for unhealthy drug use in outpatient medical care: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 37(8):20419 doi: 10.1007/s11606-022-07543-z
Sahker E, Pro G, Poudyal H, Sakata M, Jordan A, Furukawa TA. (2022). Factors supporting substance use improvement for Black Americans: A population health observational study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 234:109405. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109405
Furukawa TA, Shinohara K, Sahker E,…Cuijpers P. (2021). Initial treatment choices to achieve sustained response in major depression: A systematic review and network meta-analysis. World Psychiatry. 20(3):387–96. doi: 10.1002/wps.20906
Sahker E, Ali SR, Arndt S. (2019). Employment recovery capital in the treatment of substance use disorders: Six-month follow-up observations. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 205:107624. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107624
Underlined = mentored student
Research Social Media Links:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ethan-Sahker
https://www.webofscience.com/wos/author/record/AAA-2640-2021
https://researchmap.jp/ethansahker/
 

Collaborators

 
 

Yan Luo, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Medical Education Center
Graduate School of Medicine
Kyoto University

Masatsugu Sakata, PhD

Junior Associate Professor
Department of Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Nagoya City University
 

Fabian Raudzus, PhD

Assistant Professor
Center for iPS Cell Research and Application
Medical Education Center
Graduate School of Medicine
Kyoto University
 
 

Toshi Furukawa, MD, PhD

Professor Emeritus
Graduate School of Medicine &
School of Public Health
Kyoto University
 

Simon Coulombe, PhD

Associate Professor
Faculty of Social Sciences
Department of Industrial Relations
Laval University
 

Current Student Researchers

 
 

Mayu Koga - Research Assistant

Koga-san is a Kyoto University law student and her dream is to conduct legal research while working internationally. She joined our lab to learn the fundamentals of the research process. She is still deciding which branch of law to study.

Projects:
Policy and Prescription Drug Substance Use Disorders
 

Hideaki Tanaka - Research Assistant

Tanaka-san is a Kyoto University medical student and his interests are to improve human life and society by understanding trends and analyzing interventions for various psychiatric events. He is working to become a surgeon who can improve the mental burden that patients may have before or after surgery, using insights gained from psychiatric analysis.

Projects:
Policy and Prescription Drug Substance Use Disorders
 

Yuki Kono - Research Assistant

Kono-san is a Kyoto University medical student and his interests are health economics and global health. He is particularly interested in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), which are increasing in developed countries. He hopes to provide solutions for developing countries, where NCDs are expected to increase in the future.

Projects:
Brief Intervention with Genetic Risk Education: A Randomized Controlled Trial
 

Andrew Farrell - Visiting Researcher

Andrew came to Kyoto University to learn how to conduct research under the mentorship of Dr. Sahker. He is interested in demographic research and fertility policies in countries with sub-replacement fertility rates. He aspires to work for the United States government or with an NGO which specializes in demographic research and policy development.

Projects:
Japanese Fertility Policy
 

PAST Researchers

 

Kaori Okazaki - Research Assistant

Okazaki-san is a Kyoto University medical student with interests in anesthesiology. After three years in the Sahker Lab, she contributed to multiple projects and earned a co-authorship on one publication, so far.

Okazaki-san is currently working for a basic research lab in the Kyoto University Hospital, Department of Anesthesiology, which will really help her achieve her career goals.

Projects:
Brief Intervention with Genetic Risk Education: Randomized Controlled Trial, Unguided Web-based Motivational Interviewing, Smallest Worthwhile Difference, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs
Publications:
Sahker E, Furukawa TA, Luo Y, Ferreira ML, Okazaki K, Chevance A, Markham S, Ede R, Leucht S, Cipriani A, Salanti G. (2024). Estimating the Smallest Worthwhile Difference (SWD) of Antidepressants: A Cross-Sectional Survey. BMJ Mental Health (IF=5.2, Rank=30/537 - Psychiatry and Mental Health)
 

Bryony "Rachel" Leask - Visiting Researcher

Rachel came to the lab with a background in chemistry. She is still deciding on a career path and learning the research process. She contributed a great deal to the development on the Stem Cell Therapies in Addictions project.

Projects:
Stem Cell Therapies in Addiction
 

Li-Hsuan Lin - Masters of Public Health Student

Li-Hsuan came to Kyoto as part of the double degree program with Kyoto University and National Taiwan University. She was supervised by Toshi Furukawa and Ethan Sahker for her graduate thesis.

Li-Hsuan is currently working for an Independent Research Group in Taiwan.

Projects:
Blinding in Randomized Controlled Trial Methodology
Publication:
Lin YH, Sahker E, Shinohara K, Horinochi H, Ito M, Lelliott M, Cipriani A, Tomlinson A, Baethge C, Furukawa TA. (2022). Assessment of blinding in randomized controlled trials of antidepressants for depressive disorders 2000–2020: A systematic review and meta-analysis. eClinicalMedicine, The Lancet Discovery Science, 50:101505. (IF=17.03, Rank 12/172 general and internal medicine)
 

THE SAHKER LAB

Director: Ethan Sahker, PhD
Population Health & Policy Research Unit, Medical Education Center
Kyoto University
Kyoto, Japan