VISE Spring Seminar – Joshua Gafford, PhD – 2.2.23
VISE Spring Seminar to be led by
Joshua Gafford, Ph.D.
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer
Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023
Time: 11:45 a.m. Lunch, 12:00 p.m. start
Location: Stevenson 5326
Title: EndoTheia: Augmenting the Capabilities of Flexible Endoscopes
Abstract: Historically, clinical applications of flexible endoscopes have been primarily diagnostic in nature due to fundamental limitations in their therapeutic efficacy. These limitations stem from the lack of distal dexterity of trans-endoscopic tools which can only extend straight out from the endoscope’s tip, thereby requiring the entire endoscope to be maneuvered to steer and re-direct them. EndoTheia is developing a novel technology with the goal of increasing therapeutic yields in flexible endoscopic procedures by enhancing the distal dexterity of tools passed through them. This disruptive technology, based on extremely thin-walled, laser-machined metallic tubes, enables the creation of highly flexible, steerable devices that can pass through standard endoscopes, while also carrying trans-endoscopic tools within themselves. The steerability that these devices provide to endoscope-delivered tools opens the door for new diagnostic and therapeutic applications of flexible endoscopy. In this talk, I will give an overview of EndoTheia’s current commercialization thrusts in urology, gastroenterology, and otology. I will also discuss some of the methodologies we use as a company to determine which applications to pursue based on clinical and economic considerations.
Bio: Joshua Gafford, Ph.D., is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of EndoTheia, where manages day-to-day engineering activities, participates in business and regulatory strategy development, and leads capital fundraising efforts through federal and state grant programs which have resulted in $4.8m in non-dilutive startup capital for the company to date. Prior to founding EndoTheia, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the MEDLab at Vanderbilt University, where he worked on the steerable sheath technology that underpins EndoTheia’s current commercialization efforts. Dr. Gafford received his Ph.D from Harvard University, where his research focused on the development of modular robotic systems for therapeutic endoscopy. He is also a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.