The Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery’s second annual Surgical Collaboration Day was held Nov. 4, 2017. Originally set for Aug. 26 but rescheduled due to Hurricane Harvey, the event attracted more than 300 attendees, including surgeons, clinicians, researchers and technologists, from the Houston area (and from afar). Participants gathered in the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute to forge new, innovative collaborations to solve the most advanced and pressing problems in healthcare and surgery.
Internationally renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Joseph Lamelas, M.D., associate chief of cardiac surgery, delivered the event’s keynote address titled “Innovations in Minimally-Invasive Cardiac Surgery.”
Dr. Lamelas, who has completed more than 14,000 cardiac surgical operations in his career, has played a significant role in advancing the field of minimally invasive cardiac surgery and has extensive experience in innovating and creating new surgical instruments. He has developed techniques to facilitate minimally invasive approaches for repair of simple congenital defects, removal of cardiac tumors, aortic valve surgery, mitral valve surgery, double and triple valve surgery, as well as replacement of the ascending aorta without splitting the sternum.
The event comprised quick-fire presentations from surgeons and technologists, including a pitch from Innovation “Pressure Ulcer” Challenge winner InPro Medical (Onur Fidaner, Ph.D.), as well as an insightful presentation on virtual and augmented reality, given by Dr. Caroline Cruz Neira, director of the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Session 1: “Innovation in the TMC” began with talks on new innovation ventures in the TMC and partnering institutions given by Stuart Corr, Ph.D., MEng, assistant professor and director of surgical innovation and technology, and Billy Cohn, M.D., professor and director of the Center for Device Innovation at TMC/Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Other presenters included Laura Richardson, CEO and president of Frazer Ltd – the Mobile Stroke Unit, Paul Hoopingarner of Sparx Engineering, and assistant professor Ghanashyam Acharya, Ph.D., of Baylor's Department of Surgery, who discussed advances in translational nanosystems.
Scottish bagpiper Larry Fowler provided music for the event and was instructed to ‘pipe up’ when speakers went over their allotted nine-minute speaking time.
In Session 2, individuals engaged in “Surgical Speed Dating” sessions with Baylor surgeons. Aspirants had two minutes to meet with each surgeon, who had previously identified problems in their respective areas, to pitch their ideas and technologies. Participating surgery faculty included Dr. Lamelas, endocrine and general surgeon James Suliburk, M.D., as well as cardiothoracic surgeons Ourania Preventza, M.D., Ravi Ghanta, M.D., and Scott A. LeMaire, M.D. Several Baylor medical students were also ‘drafted’ into this session including Dor Yoeli, a fourth-year medical student.
After lunch the event culminated with open-floor exhibitions, where people from all over the world showcased their cutting-edge technologies. Interactive demonstrations gave attendees the opportunity to closely examine and try out these new technologies.
A full list of attendee-related institutes and companies/start-ups can be found below.
Institutes: Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, The University of Texas Health Science Center, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Ben Taub Hospital, CHI Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Texas Heart Institute.
Companies & Start-Ups: M&S Biotics, LLC; Sparx Technologies, LLC; Lazarus 3D, LLC, Saranas, LLC, Simplicity Health Systems, iThermonitor, Diablo Sales and Marketing, Inc., Tech-Labs, Inc., Articulate Labs, Inc., Frazer, Ltd., Medifies, Inc., AUGMENTx, Inc., Seremedi, Inc., InPro Medical, JBL Technologies, LP; iSono Health, Inc.