Center for Robotic Simulation and Education

About the Center

Led by Andrew J. Hung, MD, the Center for Robotic Simulation and Education (CRSE) is home to a pioneering team of surgeons and scientists. The center’s primary mission is to advance the way robotic surgeons are trained. With partnerships with industry organizations and other leading academic institutions around the world, we hope to set the standards on how robotic surgery is taught.

The center’s objectives parallel one of the main missions of the USC Institute of Urology: to innovate in the field of minimally invasive urology. Every day our surgeons strive to advance how we treat patients with benign and malignant urologic diseases. Many important techniques in how we treat prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and kidney cancer were created here at the USC Institute of Urology.

CRSE runs a parallel mission to ensure that our pioneering feats do not belong to a single surgeon or single hospital. We hope to relay our techniques to a worldwide audience of robotic surgeons.

Since 2011, the group has:

  • Developed the first procedure-specific simulation for robotic surgery (Maestro AR Partial Nephrectomy, Mimic Technologies)
  • Demonstrated for the first time that virtual reality (VR) simulation training can improve live robotic surgery performance (Journal of Urology, 2012)
  • Captured and validated for the first time objective surgeon performance metrics for live robotic surgery (paper under review)
  • Produced over 16 peer-reviewed articles on robotic simulation and training in leading journals

Research Team

Andrew J. Hung, MD, Founding Director
Dr. Hung is the founding director of CRSE. He is board-certified in urology with fellowship training in advanced robotics. Dr. Hung has become a recognized leader in the validation and development of innovative surgical simulation technologies. To train the next generation of urologic surgeons, he has developed the first-ever procedure-specific simulation for robotic surgery. Dr. Hung is also the principal investigator of several studies at USC that explore and assess novel methods of teaching robotic surgery.

Dr. Andrew J. Hung

Andrew J. Hung, MD, Founding Director

Jian Chen, MD, Research Fellow
Dr. Chen is a research fellow at the CRSE at USC Institute of Urology. After finishing his urology resident training in Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Beijing, he came to USC and joined CRSE. His research interests lie in the quality of life of prostate cancer patients and robotic surgical performance evaluation and education.

Dr. Jian Chen

Jian Chen, MD, Research Fellow

Inderbir Gill, MD, Chair, Department of Urology
Dr. Gill’s primary focus is advanced robotic urologic oncologic surgery, with one of the world’s largest aggregate robotic/laparoscopic experiences in approx 9,000 cases in the United States. A world leader in robotic/laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for renal cancer, he and his team have performed this procedure in over 2,500 patients, the world’s largest series. Over the past 3 years, Dr Gill and his team are focusing on developing novel image-guided targeted biopsy and lesion-specific focal therapy treatments for prostate cancer.

Dr. Inderbir Gill, MD

Inderbir Gill, MD, Chair, Department of Urology

Research Associates

  • Paul Oh– Paul Oh is a Dean’s Research Scholar at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is taking a year off before his 4th year of medical school to conduct full time research on the treatment of prostate and bladder cancer.
  • Michael Lin-Brande– Michael Lin-Brande is a 4th year medical student participating in the Dean’s Research Scholar program. He completed his undergraduate studies at USC majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Natural Sciences. Michael’s research interests include bladder and prostate cancer.
  • Micha Titus– Micha Titus is a medical student at the Keck School of Medicine and doing research at the CRSE. He came to USC after graduating from Emory University. His research focus is evaluating the impact of trainee involvement on outcomes in robotic surgery.
  • Austin Fullencamp– Austin Fullenkamp is a medical student at Keck School of Medicine in the Health, Technology, and Engineering program. His research interests include surgical training education, surgical robotics, and technology development.
  • Tiffany Chu – Tiffany is a medical student at Keck School of Medicine. She graduated from USC with a degree in economics. Her research interests include the use of robotic surgery in treating genitourinary disorders.
  • Ryan Lee – Ryan is a medical student at the Keck School of Medicine. He attended USC for his undergraduate studies where he majored in Human Biology. His research interests include outcome studies and development of teaching models for robotic surgery.
  • Daphne Remulla – Daphne is a medical student at the Keck School of Medicine. Her research interests are in medical education with a focus on surgical pedagogy and learning analytics in urology.
  • Vivek Singh – Vivek is a medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA, majoring in Physiological Science. His research interests include surgical robotic technology and surgical training education.
  • Jessica Nguyen – Jessica is a student completing the post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at USC. She completed her undergraduate studies in biomedical engineering from UCI. Her interests include surgery and biomedical technologies.

Center News

  • May 14, 2017: 2017 American Urological Association Annual Meeting (Boston): Dr. Hung and Dr. Chen present initial findings of objective surgeon performance metrics during robotic radical prostatectomy
  • June 12, 2017: Dr. Hung to present his work on telementoring for robotic surgery at the American College of Surgeons’ Training the Next Generation of Surgeons conference in Seattle (U Wash WISH)
  • June 22-24, 2017: Dr. Hung to attend the “Train the Trainer” Consensus Conference (Philadephia) with leading surgical educators from around the world
  • July 2017: twin manuscripts accepted in the Journal of Urology:
    1. Telementoring/Telesurgery in MIS:
      http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(17)76745-6/fulltext;
    2. Objective Performance Metrics utilizing the dVLogger during RALP:
      http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347(17)77239-4/fulltext
  • Dec 11 2017: CRSE team’s article on “dVLogger” data featured on the cover of the Journal of Urology January 2018 cover and covered by several media outlets.
  • January 18, 2018: Dr. Hung, Dr. Chen and Paul Oh present work on “dvLogger” data at the annual Intuitive Surgical Clinical Grants Research Symposium
  • May 2018: CRSE team presenting several moderated posters and podium talks at the AUA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
  • June 18-20, 2018: Dr. Hung will be part of the faculty at the Society of Robotic Surgery in Stockholm, Sweden

Join Us

Send your CV to Dr. Andrew Hung (Andrew.Hung@med.usc.edu) if you are interested in a research internship or fellowship.