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Randall Wolf + Miguel Nicolelis

The Robotic Mind

Saturday, March 3, 2012
3:00 PM–4:30 PM

Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis is known for his groundbreaking studies he did with monkeys that he taught to control the movements of a robot located halfway around the globe by using brain signals alone. His work with primates has uncovered a new method for capturing brain function—by recording rich neuronal symphonies rather than the activity of single neurons. His lab is now paving the way for a new treatment for Parkinson’s, silk-thin exoskeletons to grant mobility to the paralyzed, all of which has implications for space exploration, global communication, and, in this conversation with Dr. Randall Wolf, robotic surgery.
Randall Wolf was the first in the world to perform totally endoscopic first rib resection and harmonic scalpel mammary artery mobilization. He performed the first endoscopic cardiac procedure in North America at the Ohio State University in the fall of 1999 and completed the first FDA study with DaVinci robotic system for cardiac surgery. He has performed live minimally invasive cases in more than eighteen countries and is currently training cardiac surgeons from around the world in new cardiac techniques. He joined the University of Cincinnati in 2003, as tenured Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, and subsequently inaugurated The Center for Surgical Innovation (CSI) in the Department of Surgery at UC where he served as Director. He was named the inaugural holder of the endowed Ethicon-Endosurgery Chair for Innovation in Surgery in 2005. He served as the inaugural co-editor of the Innovations Journal. Dr. Wolf then directed the Atrial Fibrillation Center at Deaconess Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently he is the director of the Wolf Atrial Fibrillation Center-Cincinnati. Dr. Wolf and robotic heart surgery was highlighted on PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers, hosted by American award-winning actor Alan Alda.

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