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 endoscopy for surgeons and patients worldwide.
Virtuoso has been funded by grants from the U.S. National Institute of Health and the State of Tennessee. To date, Virtuoso has been funded by over $9M of private funding from individual investors. Our investing partners are truly part of the Virtuoso team — they have made and continue to make the Virtuoso System possible.
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.
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.
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.
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.