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About Virtuoso

Virtuoso Surgical, Inc. was born out of a
collaborative research effort at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical
Center among co-founders Robert Webster, Duke Herrell, and Richard Hendrick.

In April 2016, they founded Virtuoso Surgical to bring the benefits of robotic technology to endoscopic systems for surgeons and patients worldwide.

Virtuoso has been funded by grants from the U.S. National Institute of Health and the State of Tennessee. In addition, Virtuoso has been funded by the issuance of Class A Preferred Shares to private investors. The company is currently raising additional capital through a continuing public offering of preferred shares.

Leadership Team


Robert Webster

Position: President & Chief Technology Officer

Robert Webster is the primary inventor of the technology at the heart of the Virtuoso device and provides strategic technical leadership to the Virtuoso Surgical team. He is professor of mechanical and electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University, where his research focuses on the intersection of engineering and surgery. Throughout his academic career, he has invented and developed many novel robotic surgical systems and has 38 awarded and pending patents to his name. His impact in robotic surgery has been recognized through numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation Career award, the IEEE Volz award, and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award.

He is a co-founder of the Vanderbilt Institute in Surgery and Engineering (VISE), which brings together surgeons and engineers to solve challenging clinical problems. He is a graduate of Clemson University and Johns Hopkins University.

Robert Webster

President & Chief Technology Officer

Richard Hendrick

Position: Chief Operating Officer

Richard Hendrick leads and manages all engineering and day-to-day business operations at Virtuoso Surgical. He has spent his career improving surgery through engineering novel medical devices. He received his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, where his research focused on the technology at the heart of the Virtuoso device.

Before graduate school, he began his career at DJO Surgical, where he engineered orthopedic implants and engaged in regulatory approval efforts for new products. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Vanderbilt University.

Richard Hendrick

Chief Operating Officer

S. Duke Herrell

Position: Chief Medical Officer

Duke Herrell provides strategic clinical leadership to the Virtuoso Surgical team. He is a urologic surgeon and pioneer in robotic surgery and minimally invasive surgical approaches. He is the director of the robotics committee at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is a co-founder of the Vanderbilt Institute in Surgery and Engineering (VISE).

Dr. Herrell’s research has focused on creating novel surgical robotic systems and devices for minimally invasive surgery, and his papers have been cited over 3900 times. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

S. Duke Herrell

Chief Medical Officer

Mark Pickrell

Position: Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel

Mark Pickrell provides legal, financial, and administrative leadership to the Virtuoso Surgical team. He has spent 25 years advising and representing companies, entrepreneurs, and investors on matters related to corporate formation and governance, contracting, intellectual property, securities, and legal and regulatory compliance.

He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Tennessee College of Law. Inquiries about investing in Virtuoso should be directed to Mark.

Mark Pickrell

Chief Administrative Officer & General Counsel

Business Advisory Board


Harry Jacobson

Dr. Jacobson is recently co-founder of TriStar Health Partners, where he acts as Managing Director, Partner and Principal. Formerly, he served as Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he grew revenues from $750 million to $2.5 billion.

During the course of his career, Dr. Jacobson has been a successful investor and entrepreneur, having founded or co-founded 10 companies, such as Contact Software which was acquired by Symantec (SYMC:NASDAQ), and more recently Renal Care Group (RCG:NYSE) which was acquired by Fresenius Medical Care (FMS:NYSE) for approximately $4.0 billion.


Rob Waggener

Rob was most recently Chief Executive Officer at Foundations Recovery Network, LLC, before its sale to Universal Health Services, Inc. As CEO at FRN, Rob led the expansion and development of the company from startup to exit. Prior to FRN, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Lakeside Behavioral Health System.


Martin Brown

Martin chairs a holding company with controlling interest in Brown-Forman Corporation, a NYSE-listed distiller of Jack Daniel’s and other fine whiskies. Martin served on the board of Brown-Forman for 10 years. He is an attorney with Adams and Reese and has served as board member or legal counsel for companies in various health care fields, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, wound care, and mental health services.

He is currently a director of the parent corporation of Aegis Sciences Corporation, a Nashville-based toxicology laboratory company.


Charles Gavin

Charles founded and served as CEO of MFG Chemicals. He was the first to successfully develop acid-dyed filament carpet, now an industry standard. Charles was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2016. He is a philanthropist, providing scholarship support to several universities, including a major gift to Auburn University to found the Gavin Engineering Research Building.


Mark Richter

Mark has more than 20 years of experience within the field of medical device development. He founded MAX mobility, an assistive technology company, which he led from a start up to a multi-million dollar revenue company. Mark advises the Virtuoso Surgical team on commercialism of the robotic surgical system.