Dr. Sakurai graduated with honors from the University of California at Irvine with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1985. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1989 from the UCLA School of Dentistry and completed residency training in Hospital Dentistry in 1991 at the UCLA Medical Center, where she continues to teach. Her resident training includes courses in sedation, medical emergencies, CPR, treatment of medically compromised patients with emphasis on dental anxiety and esthetic dentistry. Dr. Sakurai has been past Director of Operating Room procedures in the Section of Hospital Dentistry and was the first dentist to serve on the Heart Lung transplant team. Dr. Sakurai has been interviewed by news sources for current advances in dentistry, authored many clinical research papers, and made appearances on shows such as The Doctors (CBS) and Best of LA (KCAL9). Dr. Sakurai is the former President of the Academy for Excellence in Dentistry, a non-profit organization dedicated to continuing education and scholarship for deserving talent in the local dental schools. She is also involved in other charities including the Give Back a Smile program, UCLA Cancer research, and American Heart Association.