Richard Satava, MD, FACS, is Professor Emeritus of Surgery, University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.
Prior academic positions include Professor of Surgery at Yale University and a military appointment as Professor of Surgery (USUHS) in the Army Medical Corps assigned to General Surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Government positions included Program Manager of Advanced Biomedical Technology at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for 12 years and Senior Science Advisor at the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command in Ft. Detrick, Maryland, and Director of the NASA Commercial Space Center for Medical Informatics Telemedicine, and Advanced Technology (NASA-CSC-MITAT) at Yale University. Upon completion of military career and government service he had continued clinical medicine at Yale University and University of Washington.
His undergraduate training was at Johns Hopkins University, Medical School at Hahnemann University of Philadelphia, Internship at the Cleveland Clinic, Surgical Residency at the Mayo Clinic, and a Fellowship with a Master of Surgical Research at Mayo Clinic. He holds a PhD(hon) at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary and PhD(hon) in Bucharest Romania
He has served on the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Committee on Health, Food and Safety and was also awarded the prestigious Department of Defense Legion of Merit and Department of Defense Exceptional Service medals as well as awarded the Smithsonian Laureate in Healthcare. He has been a member of numerous committees of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), currently serving on the ACS-Accredited Education Institutes (ACS-AEI). He is a Past President of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS), and the Society of Medical Innovation and Therapy (SMIT). He was a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and is currently on the Board of many surgical societies and on the editorial board of numerous surgical and scientific journals, and active in a number of surgical and engineering societies.
In pioneering research in telepresence surgery, he was the surgeon on the project that developed the first surgical robot, which later became the DaVinci Surgical Robot. He also was the founder of the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality (MMVR) conference and built (with Jaron Lanier), the first VR simulator for surgery (in 1989). Short thereafter, while at DARPA, he funded all robotic surgery research and all VR medical simulation for the first 10 years
he was a member of the Advisory Board of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) advising NASA in the use of advanced life science research for astronauts. Now Dr. Satava has added being continuously active in surgical education and surgical research, with more than 200 publications and book chapters in diverse areas of advanced surgical technology, including Surgery in the Space Environment, Video and 3-D imaging, Plasma Medicine, Directed Energy Surgery, Telepresence Surgery, Robotic Surgery, Virtual Reality Surgical Simulation, Objective Assessment of Surgical Competence and Training and the Moral and Ethical Impact of Advanced Technologies.
During his 23 years of military surgery he had been an active flight surgeon, an Army astronaut candidate, combat tours of duty as MASH surgeon for the Grenada Invasion, and a hospital commander during Desert Storm, all the while continuing clinical surgical practice. Current research is focused on advanced technologies to formulate the architecture for the next generation of clinical Medicine and Surgery, education and training.