Center for Surgical Innovation

In the OR and beyond, surgeons combine technical skill with creative problem-solving to continually improve tools and techniques for patient care. That’s why we measure the pace of life-saving innovations in years, not decades.

Our Goals

At the U-M Department of Surgery, we take the spirit of discovery seriously. Our vision is to create an environment where surgical faculty and trainees who are passionate about innovation have access to the necessary tools and training to foster cutting-edge ideas. In addition to working on research projects with faculty members with specific expertise in innovation, trainees will develop skill sets to advance independent projects. We have created courses around surgical innovation and entrepreneurship that have become a national model for its reach and results. 

We aim to support:

  • Learning across all levels, from medical students to senior faculty, including a formal curriculum for medical student education in innovation.
  • A focus on teamwork within entrepreneurship, including a first-of-its-kind 9-month course for surgical faculty to develop novel medical solutions.
  • Partnerships with faculty in business and biomedical engineering, fostering relationships to solve medical problems together and bring new products to market.
  • Leadership for innovation and entrepreneurship within the department through a dedicated associate chair position.

We aim to change the field of academic surgery by creating a culture of innovation that encourages surgeons and trainees to develop new products and ideas that help advance medicine and improve patient care.

Our Work

The Center for Surgical Innovation is composed of many different innovators and entrepreneurs from across Michigan Medicine and the University of Michigan main campus. We are comprised of many diverse faculty members and trainees from the Department of Surgery, as well as several key faculty and learners from the College of Engineering and the Ross School of Business.

We focus on bringing cutting edge solutions to clinical care, research, and education with an emphasis on thinking outside the box. For example, we have spearheaded the implementation of extended reality technology for surgical rounds. We have also developed a successful program called the Michigan Surgical Innovation Accelerator to guide surgeons and trainees looking to bring new products to the market.

Through hands-on experiences in providing clinical and surgical care, trainees and faculty members can work with the Center for Surgical Innovation to identify existing limitations and needs to enhance the patient experience and improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery. Strong connections exist between the Center for Surgical Innovation, the School of Engineering, the Ross School of Business, and others all work together to support collaborative and multidisciplinary innovation efforts.

The Center for Surgical Innovation works to build an ever-evolving support system and collaboration community for innovators in the field of surgery.

Dr. Cohen and team members conducting virtual rounds with HoloLens2 technology

Learn more about Dr. Cohen's work implementing HoloLens2 technology to offer virtual patient rounds for trainees during COVID-19.

Learn More

Discover how to get involved in the Center for Surgical Innovation.

Get to know faculty members, residents, and U-M organizations doing work in the field of innovation.