USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

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Meet Nifty Fifty Speaker Catherine Mohr, Nominated by FIRST.

She began her career as a mechanical engineer, working many years developing alternative-energy vehicles and high-altitude aircraft. But a mid-career change set Catherine Mohr on a different path for which she is known today: developing the next generation of surgical robots and robotic procedures that allow patients to heal faster and better.

If the idea of a robot helping to perform surgery makes you nervous -relax. Thousands of robotically assisted surgeries are performed every year in the U.S, operations which allow human surgeons to access anatomical areas with much less difficulty, and which cause fewer surgical incisions to be necessary.

“New robotically assisted surgery methods and devices are helping us push the boundaries of medicine,” says Catherine who left her lucrative career as an engineer to complete medical school in order to better learn and apply her skills in surgical robotics and medical device development. “By focusing on fewer incisions, more precision and more versatility with these procedures and devices, we are making surgery safer and more efficient for patients,” she says.

For instance, the combination of precision and minimal invasion allow these robots, under the guidance of human surgeons, to sew a blood vessel onto a beating heart without the necessity of surgeons opening the entire chest cavity.

In her pursuits, Catherine currently serves as the director of medical research at Intuitive
Surgical Inc. She also works at Stanford’s School of Medicine, where she studies simulation-based teaching methods to teach clinical skills to budding doctors.

Read more about Catherine here.

Watch a video about these robotic assisted surgery below.

Comments

  1. #1 Tony P
    March 29, 2011

    Those robots are truly amazing. I know that DARPA is also working on a robotic surgical ‘pod’ for the battlefield.

    Now what happens when you combine the dexterity of a robot with the intelligence of a system like Watson?

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