VISE symposium gives first look at medical technology, recap of tech unveiled this year

A symposium out of Vanderbilt University’s newest institute will provide participants a first look at medical technology coming out of our labs and a recap of tech unveiled at conferences around the world this year.

The research to be presented at the Dec. 16 Vanderbilt Institute in Surgery and Engineering (VISE) event aims at making surgeries more effective, minimally invasive and less expensive. The symposium will feature devices that are ready to make the leap from lab spaces to surgical suites.

Symposium visitors will learn more about efforts to enhance surgical guidance during lumpectomies, a laparoscopic instrument with a wrist that allows surgeons to place difficult sutures and perform complex tasks with minimal invasion, improved cochlear implant performance done with a series of image processing algorithms, and medical capsule devices that can be used for painless colonoscopies and provide a disposable platform for gastric cancer screening.

The entrepreneurship workshop component of the VISE symposium focuses on the vital combination of engineering expertise and effective communication needed for technology transfer, said Jason Denenberg, the director of entrepreneurship for LaunchTN. Launch TN is a public-private partnership that supports new entrepreneurs in launch businesses and inventors in getting their technology to market.

The event is in Light Hall, room 202, and begins at 1 p.m. with the entrepreneurial workshop. Keynote speaker Dr. Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, who earned her MD and PhD from Vanderbilt in 1997, takes the stage at 4 p.m. to discuss her work at the University of Pittsburgh, which involves brain-computer interfaces.

A poster session follows at 5 p.m.

Symposium attendance is by registration only. For more information, visit

The university announced in September that the Vanderbilt Initiative in Surgery and Engineering was becoming the Vanderbilt Institute in Surgery and Engineering. This is the group’s fourth annual symposium.

The promotion from a three-year trial program to an established institute is the consequence of a Vanderbilt Reinvestment Award from the University’s $50 millionTrans-Institutional Program, which is part of Vanderbilt’s new Academic Strategic Plan.


Michael Miga, Harvie Branscomb Professor of Biomedical Engineering and VISE seminar series chair