Skip to main content

Previous Symposiums

Annual Surgery, Intervention, and Engineering Symposium

2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017


keynote delivered by

Eben Rosenthal, MD
Ann & John Doerr Medical Director
Stanford Cancer Center

Wednesday, December 13th, 2017
Light Hall Room 202
4:10 p.m. – 5:10 p.m. followed by reception

“Leveraging Light in the OR: Finding an Optical Contrast Agent”

Over the past two decades, synergistic innovations in imaging technology have resulted in a revolution in which a range of biomedical applications are now benefiting from fluorescence imaging. Specifically, advances in fluorophore chemistry and imaging hardware, and the identification of targetable biomarkers have now positioned intraoperative fluorescence as a highly specific real-time detection modality for surgeons in oncology. In particular, the deeper tissue penetration and limited autofluorescence of near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging improves the translational potential of this modality over visible-light fluorescence imaging. Rapid developments in fluorophores with improved characteristics, detection instrumentation, and targeting strategies led to the clinical testing in the early 2010s of the first targeted NIR fluorophores for intraoperative cancer detection. The foundations for the advances that underline this technology continue to be nurtured by the multidisciplinary collaboration of chemists, biologists, engineers, and clinicians. In this Review, we highlight the latest developments in NIR fluorophores, cancer-targeting strategies, and detection instrumentation for intraoperative cancer detection, and consider the unique challenges associated with their effective application in clinical settings.

Eben Rosenthal is a surgeon-scientist who serves as the John and Ann Doerr Medical Director of the Stanford Cancer Center.  He works collaboratively with the Stanford Cancer Institute and Stanford Health Care leaders to set the strategy for the clinical delivery of cancer care across Stanford Medicine and growing cancer networks.  He is a professor of Otolaryngology and Radiology (courtesy) and a member of Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS). He continues to be clinically active as an oncologic and microvascular reconstructive surgeon.

Dr. Rosenthal has conducted multiple early phase clinical trials for diagnostic and therapeutic agents for the treatment of solid tumors. He has been NIH funded for over a decade in targeted, translational research.  He is part of a multidisciplinary team of clinical and basic scientists that have successfully performed preclinical studies, nonhuman primate IND-enabling studies, successfully performed the first in human clinical trials using fluorescently labeled antibodies as a cancer specific contrast agent for use in the operating room. Ongoing clinical trials include brain, pancreas, skin and head and neck tumors.

View the symposium program by clicking here..


keynote delivered by Christopher P. Austin, MD,
Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Science
at the National Institutes of Health

photo of Christopher P. Austin

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
Catalyzing Translational Innovation
Vanderbilt University Light Hall


The process by which observations in the laboratory or the clinic are transformed into demonstrably useful interventions that tangibly improve human health is frequently termed “translation.” This multi-stage and multifaceted process is poorly understood scientifically, and the current research ecosystem is operationally not well suited to the distinct needs of translation. As a result, biomedical science is in an era of unprecedented accomplishment without a concomitant improvement in meaningful health outcomes, and this is creating pressures that extend from the scientific to the societal and political. To meet the opportunities and needs in translational science, NCATS was created as NIH’s newest component in December 2011, via a concatenation of extant NIH programs previously resident in other components of NIH. NCATS is scientifically and organizationally different from other NIH Institutes and Centers. It focuses on what is common to diseases and the translational process, and acts a catalyst to bring together the collaborative teams necessary to develop new technologies and paradigms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process, from target validation through intervention development to demonstration of public health impact. This talk will provide an overview of NCATS mission, programs, and deliverables, with a view toward future developments.

Christopher P. Austin, M.D.
Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health

Christopher Austin is director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NCATS’ mission is to enhance the development, testing and implementation of diagnostics and therapeutics across a wide range of human diseases and conditions. The Center collaborates with other government agencies, industry, academia and the nonprofit community. Before joining NIH in 2002, Austin directed research and drug development programs at Merck, with a focus on schizophrenia. His earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and a research fellowship in genetics at Harvard.

View the symposium program by clicking here.


keynote delivered by Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburg School of Medicine
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
“From science fiction to real world medical applications”


Science fiction has promised the interface between . humans and machines for decades Television brought us the 6 Million Dollar Man and the movies showed us that Luke Skywalker’s prosthetic hand was fully functional and seamlessly integrated. The medical device industry has brought some of these promises to patients with smart prosthetic devices. Now technology has made interfacing the brain directly to assistive devices a reality. The popular television show Grey’s Anatomy portrayed brain computer interfaces (BCIs) and their ability to move a virtual reality arm or a robotic arm. In fact, BCI’s can be used to control a robotic arm in up to 10 degrees of freedom or bilateral arms in simple tasks. BCI’s can be used to control other assistive and recreational computer programs. There is evidence now that BCIs can provide tactile information from these devices. Patients with quadriplegia due to a variety of disorders have been able to use BCIs to control both virtual reality devices and actual robotic devices. These advances in BCI technology will be the spring board for making this technology a clinical tool.


Elizabeth C. Tyler-Kabara, MD, PhD completed her bachelor’s degree at Duke University, double majoring in biomedical and electrical engineering, in 1989. After leaving Duke, she worked at the National Institutes of Health as a biomedical engineer, developing and testing molecular biology software, developing a strategic plan for implementing computer networking, and recruiting a head for the newly formed Computational Biology Group. She left the NIG to attend Vanderbilt University, earning her MD and PhD in 1997. Her graduate research in the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics investigated the neurophysiology of the corticostriatal synapse. This served as the basis for her interest in neuromodulation, which has been a key aspect of her subsequent clinical research activities.


keynote delivered by Robert M. Sweet, M.D., FACS
Associate Professor Urology, William L. Anderson Endowed Chair
Director Medical School Sim Programs,
Director of the Kidney Stone Program
University of Minnesota,
President Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons

Wednesday, December 10, 2015
“The Emergence of Simulation Science for Healthcare”


The science of simulation in healthcare, while in its infancy, is an exciting new discipline that draws upon collaborative expertise involving healthcare societies and providers, industry, patients, engineers and computer scientists graphic artists, sculptors,  human factors, and educational researchers. This lecture will go over the rationale and opportunities for health care applications. The portfolio of projects across the Center for Research in Education and Simulation Technologies (CREST) at the Unviversity of Minnesota will be shared and discussed, including the development of a human tissue property database and the creation of an ecosystem of simulation projects including state-of-the-art artificial tissue analogues, next generation manikins, 3-D anatomical virtual models for practitioner and patient-education and full VR procedural trainers.


Dr. Rob Sweet received his medical degree (alpha omega alpha) from the University of Minnesota in 1997. After a urology residency at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2003, he became Attending Physician/Acting Assistant Professor of Urology and held a 2-year Health Policy Scholarship from the American Foundation for Urological Diseases (AFUD). In 2004 Dr. Sweet co-founded the Institute for Surgical and Interventional Simulation (ISIS) at the University of Washington. He currently holds the positions of Associate Professor of Urology at the University of Minnesota, and is Director of the Medical School’s Simulation Programs and the Kidney Stone Program. He is the Principal Investigator of numerous simulation research and development projects including the University of Minnesota MedSim Combat Casualty Training Consortium.


delivered by L. Nelson Hopkins, MD, FACS
SUNY Distinguished Professor
Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology
State University of New York at Buffalo
Director, Toshiba Stroke and Vascular Research Center
CEO of the Jacobs Institute

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
“Innovations in Vascular Care”


According to the American Heart Association’s 2013 statistics update, more than one in three American adults currently have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. Stroke remains the leading cause of long-term disability and affects 795,000 individuals annually. The prevalence and associated financial burden of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases are projected to increase in the future.

This talk will provide an overview of the importance of a comprehensive vascular center in providing care for a wide range of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. The origins, goals, and current experience of the Gates Vascular Institute (GVI) as an example of a modern vascular center will be discussed. The GVI structure includes dedicated surgical and minimally invasive interventional labs, a new emergency department, and dedicated CT and MRI scanners. Its collaboration with the University at Buffalo is possible through a dedicated four-floor clinical translation research center, located in the same building. The Jacobs institute is an integral part of the GVI and is the institute’s main hub for medical breakthroughs, innovative treatments, and new economic opportunities.

We will review current standards and designation processes for primary and comprehensive stroke center certification and their role in the management of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. We will discuss the importance of quality assurance, the current financial status of health care, and future directions in the management and treatment of vascular disease in the United States.


Dr. L. Nelson Hopkins continues working in UB Neurosurgery but recently stepped down as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University at Buffalo from 1989 – 2013. After completing his undergraduate studies at Rutger University, Dr. Hopkins earned a doctor of medicine degree cum laude from Albany Medical College. His post-graduate training included a surgical internship at Case Western Reserve, followed by neurology and neurosurgical training at State University of New York at Buffalo.

Dr. Hopkins has also been active in medical technology entrepreneurship and serves on the board of three medical device start up companies.


keynote delivered by Dr. Reed Omary, M.D., M.S.
Carol D. & Henry P. Pendergrass Professor
Chairman of the Vanderbilt University Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences


Dr.  Omary is a translational physician-scientist who is active in education, patient care, research, and administration.

His clinical practice in interventional radiology is focused on image-guided therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Dr. Omary’s major interests include the use of MRI to guide and functionally monitor catheter-based drug delivery. Dr. Omary has clinically translated these techniques using an innovative combined magnetic resonance imaging-x-ray digital subtraction angiography unity.

Dr. Omary is principal investigator (PI) on two separate NIH RO1 grants (one clinical, one pre-clinical) aiming to improve therapies for HCC. He has previously served as PI or co-PI on NIH, RSNA, and SIR training grants. His trainees at the medical student, graduate student, resident, and junior faculty levels have been awarded 32 national and 17 local research prizes. A Fellow in the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), Dr. Omary served as Chair of the SIR Foundation Grant Review Study Section from 2007-2011. He is a full member of the NIH Medial Imaging (MEDI) study session, and has participated in numerous other NIH grant review panels.