Catharine Mohr, MD
Director Medical Research, Intuitive Surgical, Inc.; Sunnyvale, CA
February 01, 2013
How should we build robots for the future of surgery?
Surgical robots in use today are designed to allow the surgeon to perform surgical operations both more precisely and through smaller incisions. Most of these procedures, however, are simply improved versions of surgeries that have long been done through open or laparoscopic access. New technologies outside of both surgery and robotics are poised to disrupt the field of surgery profoundly, and the surgeries of the future may be very different from those of today. Robotic technologies can give us the tools to adapt to this changing landscape.
Dr. Catherine Mohr is the Director of Medical Research at Intuitive Surgical, a high technology surgical robotics company that makes the da Vinci surgical robot. In this role she develops new robotic surgical procedures, and evaluates technologies to improve outcomes with surgical robots. In addition, she is a Consulting Assistant Professor in the department of Surgery at Stanford School of Medicine where she works with the Goodman Simulation Center in the development of simulation based curriculum for teaching clinical skills.
Dr. Mohr received her BS and MS in mechanical engineering from MIT, and has been involved with numerous startup companies in the areas of alternative energy transportation, computer aided design software, and medical devices. In her early career, she worked for many years with Dr. Paul MacCready at AeroVironment developing alternate energy vehicles, high altitude aircraft, and high efficiency fuel cell power systems aimed at reducing our world’s energy consumption and emissions.
Dr. Mohr then went on to medical school at Stanford University School of Medicine during which time she founded a company to commercialize a medical device, the LapCap, which she designed during medical school. In addition, Dr. Mohr has served as a board member for the Blue World Alliance, as a committee member for several national committees with the American College of Surgeons, the Association of Women Surgeons, and the Association of Surgical Educators, and as a scientific advisor for several startup companies in Silicon Valley and government technology development programs in her native New Zealand.
She is the author of numerous scientific publications, and the recipient of multiple design awards.
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