Jaime Landman: So engineering and urology is an utterly unique meeting. I think all too often, not just in urology, in every discipline, we stay confined to the thinking process within our discipline. As urologists, however, we are utterly dependent on technologies, and in fact, have been leaders in introducing technologies from the first endoscopes, laparoscopy, certainly robotics, and hopefully, we will continue this tradition with AI and all the other fun and interesting technologies that we’ll be talking about today.

Zhamshid Okhunov, who’s here by my side, and I have put together a very special agenda. But I wanted to start off with a little bit of a special introduction to the meeting. First talking about our goals and missions.

So the Engineering and Urology Society facilitates the development application of new technologies. This is an utterly unique setting, nowhere else is the focus on actually the engineering meeting the clinical need. We unite urologists, engineers, scientists, and industry to come up, hopefully, with brand new solutions and new perspectives. It’s a unique multi-interdisciplinary platform. And we talk about technological and engineering solutions to what are critically challenging problems.

I want to thank the leadership of this institution, which has been utterly remarkable. Last year’s incredibly successful meeting was run by Rob Sweet and Tim Kowalewski. Certainly, the Endourology Society is what facilitates and makes this possible, so special thanks to Margaret Pearle and Chandru Sundaram, Lou Kavoussi is a councilor, and of course Dan Stoianovici, who is the heart and soul of this endeavor.

I did want to spend a few seconds, for those of you who have not been around this meeting for a while, to mention Dr. Nagamatsu. He was the founder, this was his brainchild. First, put together the EUS, forgive me, in 1885. He was born in Seattle in 1904. He went to Washington University School of Engineering in 1934, but then found that he had humanistic interests and wanted to become a physician, and ultimately went to med school and became a very talented urologist. And he was the first Nisei Chair of Urology, that is first-generation Japanese, Chair of Urology in the US at NY Medical College. Quickly became the president of the New York section in 1967. The AUA granted him the Golden Kane Award in 1989. And the Emperor of Japan, himself, gave him the Order of the Treasure. Now he got the Order of the Treasure Second Degree, I’m not sure what that means, but I can’t imagine what it takes to get the Order of the Treasure First Degree.

I also want to congratulate and thank all the people who have previously organized this meeting. I’ve learned so much over the years here, as I know most of us have. Starting in 2004 with Dr. Gill all the way through Dr. Liatsikos and Dr. Keeley in 2011. 2012, Jeff Cadeddu, all the way down to Rob Sweet and Tim Kowalewski, again, last year.

So the meeting is structured in its typical way. We have keynote lectures, abstracts, posters, and awards. It has a remarkable online abstract submission that Dan is truly responsible for. There are 40 expert reviewers who’ve put a lot of time into making this a very successful effort. You’ll see the top-scored abstracts are selected for posters, and the abstracts are published in the Journal of Endourology.

This year I chose a particular theme, lost in translation. Many of us have spent a lot of time in the laboratory and innovating, and talking about innovation, but it remains a huge challenge to take an idea from your brain to a piece of paper through a university or process, to a lab, to a prototype, to better prototypes, to perhaps a company, and then finally, producing a product. This is a long and arduous process that is very difficult. And having spent a little bit more time with industry, I’ve understood that there are tremendous cultural differences. I wanted to show you a quick video.

Video: [Japanese 00:04:11]

Speaker 1: He wants you to turn, look in camera. Okay?

Speaker 2: That’s all he said?

Speaker 1: Yes. Turn to camera.

Jaime Landman: So the brilliance of his expressions there suggests that there’s clearly a cultural divide. And today, what we’ve done is not only put together some of the greatest academicians who are leaders in their field and will tell us about innovations, but we’ve really focused on putting together some industry leaders and asking them to help us understand the challenges they’ve faced. So as we cross this cultural divide, really it’s so vast it’s actually almost like being on two separate planets, we might learn how to more successfully bring brilliant innovative new ideas to clinical fruition to actually help our patients. And that was our goal for today.

So, found in translation, the opposite of lost in translation, we will meet the real transformers, not these science fiction ideas of transformers. The CEO Roundtable is something I’m particularly excited about, we have industry leaders who’ve literally transformed the clinical landscape successfully and they’ll be talking to us about challenges. But just as important, we have a panel of incredible world-class faculty talking about novel laser design, the aquablation technology, MRI fusion technologies, simulation and immersive virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and deep learning, which is so critically important to our near and long term future, as well as tissue reconstruction.

We do have to congratulate the 2019 Best Abstract Awards. Intraoperative Guidance for Robotic Partial Nephrectomy Using Surface-based Registration: Initial Model Assessment. This is out of Duke Herrell’s lab. And then, of course, Improving Prostate Cancer Margin Prediction with Machine Learning. Another amazing project, which is incredibly suitable for the time.

And then finally, without the reviewers, we would not have this meeting. And here are our best reviewers, we thank them deeply for their incredible work.

And I want to end by acknowledging the people who really make this meeting happen. Dan Stoianovici has been the heart and soul of the meeting, really has kept this together since Dr. Nagamatsu passed. And of course, Debra Caridi and Michele Paoli, who really make everything in the Endourology Society, including this meeting, a reality.

And with that, I’m going to introduce you to Zhamshid Okhunov, who did the lion’s share of work in making this meeting a reality, Dr. Okhunov.

Dr. Okhunov: Thank you for this opportunity to co-chair this session with you, It’s a privilege to share the stage with you.

I want to join Dr. Landman to welcome you to the 34th Annual Meeting of the society, Engineering and Urology Society meeting. In my first experience with this session was in 2006 AUA in Atlanta, and for the past decade I’ve seen some new ideas being presented for the first time on this stage, and I witnessed them becoming a disruptive technology down the line. And so this is one of the most mind stimulating, one of the most creative sessions and audience, I would say. And I want to thank the Endourological Society leadership for this opportunity and trust to organize this session this year.