Advisory Board established for ESI program

A distinguished advisory board has been established for the Master of Engineering in Surgery and Intervention program, a novel professional degree designed to enhance training in the development of platform technologies used in procedural medicine.

The ESI program, which admitted its first students in fall 2021, offers unparalleled exposure to clinical domains and equips engineers to improve translation of technology for medical procedures and surgery.

The 14-member Industrial Education Advisory Board is comprised of professionals in the medical device, robotics, neurotech, imaging, health care AI, and surgical systems sectors, among others, and is anticipated to expand further in coming years.

Several alumni of Vanderbilt, the School of Engineering, and the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering are among those contributing their expertise to the board. The board will advise on curriculum development a growing field of engineering applied to surgery and intervention as well as provide students an assessment of how their clinical immersion experiences could impact industry.

“Operating rooms and interventional suites are rapidly changing into comprehensive technological theaters,” said Michael Miga, Harvie Branscomb Professor, professor of biomedical engineering, and member of the VISE Steering Committee.

“These novel spaces have complex requirements in command, control, and delivery combined with unprecedented needs in communication and feedback.”

Industry partners are critical stakeholders, he said.

“As a result of these relationships, our graduates will be uniquely positioned to integrate, contribute, and lead technology development pipelines for the clinic,” Miga said.

The Advisory Board members are:

  • Stephen Aylward, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives, Kitware, Inc.
  • Steven Boronyak, PhD’15, Staff Engineer, Front End Innovation, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.
  • Jarrod Collins, PhD’ 18, Scientific Communications Manager, Inari Medical
  • Rebekah Griesenauer, PhD’17, Manager, Data Platform, Valo Health
  • Steve Hartmann, PhD’02, Senior Director, Research and Technology, Medtronic
  • Christopher Jarrett, ME’08, Phd’14, Stryker Endoscopy, Manager of Upstream Marketing
  • Petr Jordan, CTO, Onc.AI
  • David Leong, Director, Strategy and Business Development, Analogic
  • Srivatsan Pallavaram, PhD’10, DBS Therapy and Education Consultant, Strategic Accounts, Abbott Neuromodulation
  • Thomas Pheiffer, PhD’14, Senior Navigation Engineer, Intuitive Surgical
  • Piotr Slawinski, PhD’19, System Engineer, Noah Medical
  • Jonathan Sorger, Vice President, Intuitive Surgical
  • Elizabeth Vasconcellos, Senior Product Manager, Blackrock Neurotech
  • Andrew Wiles, Director, Research & Development, NDI

The board met for the first time in December 2021. While consultation with board members will continue throughout the year, the next meeting will take place prior to the 11th Annual Surgery, Intervention, and Engineering Symposium in December of 2022.