Department of Neurosurgery



Microsurgical and Endoscopic Center for Clinical Applications Lab


The Microsurgical and Endoscopic Center for Clinical Applications Lab is a 1,500-square-foot, multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art cadaveric surgical lab designed for training, education, and research. The MECCA Lab is located at Baylor College of Medicine's DeBakey Building, and is jointly owned and managed by Baylor and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

There are 17 modular workstations that can be moved and configured to support the educational goals of almost any surgical specialty or approach. Integrated technology allows students to gather around a proctor station without physically having to leave their workstations. Overhead cameras attached to LED surgical lights enables each workstation the ability to broadcast to the entire lab, as well as to outside audiences via captured recordings. This also applies to robotic and endoscopic procedures. Conference rooms, located adjacent to the lab, allow for follow-up discussions and distance learning.

The MECCA Lab welcomed its first neurosurgical training course in January 2012. Since then, other surgical disciplines have followed, such as plastic surgery, head and neck dissection, and thoracic study.


MECCA Lab Leadership

Media Component
Dr. Franco DeMonte and Dr. Francisco Vaz-Guimaraes are co-directors of the MECCA Lab

Franco DeMonte, M.D.

Co-Director, MECCA Lab
Professor, Neurosurgery
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Franco DeMonte is the vice-chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and has been a member of the department since 1992. He also serves as the medical director of the Brain and Spine Center at MD Anderson, in addition to being co-director of the MECCA Lab.

Francisco Vaz, M.D.

Co-Director, MECCA Lab
Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery
Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Francisco "Chico" Vaz joined the Department of Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine as an assistant professor in 2017. He has special expertise in open and endoscopic skull base surgery and is based clinically at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center neurosurgery service. He is experienced in surgical anatomy dissections and has created a new curriculum for surgical education through dissections.