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Drs. Oleynikov, Farritor win Game Changer Award

Image with caption: From left, UNL's Shane Farritor, Ph.D., and UNMC's Dmitry Oleynikov, M.D.

From left, UNL's Shane Farritor, Ph.D., and UNMC's Dmitry Oleynikov, M.D.

A surgical robot developed in collaboration between UNMC professor of surgery Dmitry Oleynikov, M.D., and Shane Farritor, Ph.D., professor of engineering at UNL, was recently named a prestigious Game Changer Award winner by the Robotics Business Review.

The annual Game Changer Awards were officially announced in San Jose, Calif., on Sept. 24, during RoboBusiness, one of the largest international robotics conferences in the United States.

The award-winning robot of Drs. Oleynikov and Farrior is the foundation of a University of Nebraska startup company, Virtual Incision, which recently raised more than $11 million in equity financing.

The two researchers developed a surgical robot that could turn highly invasive surgeries into laparoscopic procedures. The current focus is perfecting the robot's ability for colon resection, a complicated surgical procedure that removes a damaged or diseased section of a patient's colon. It's a treatment for patients with lower gastrointestinal diseases such as diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, or colon cancer.

"We are very excited to be among the group selected for the Game Changer Award," Dr. Farritor said. "If you look at this group of winners, and at past recipients, it is an amazing honor to be included in this list."

Entries were judged by a panel of Robotics Business Review and Robotics Trends editors as well as by distinguished experts from the International Journal of Advanced Robotics Systems (IJARS).

In 2014 the University of Nebraska system honored Drs. Oleynikov and Farritor with its prestigious Innovation, Development and Engagement (IDEA) Award.

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