Upcoming Events

Medical Robotics and Robotics Surgery

Monday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Reiss Building, Room 112
Georgetown University
R.S.V.P. here

In collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in Washington DC and the Italian Cultural Institute of the Embassy, The Italian Research Institute of Georgetown University College is pleased to sponsor an event on Medical Robotics and surgical Robotics featuring two great scholars: Dr. Paolo Dario from Pisa, Italy, and Dr. Keith Kowalczyk from Georgetown University MedStar Hospital. Dr. Dario will speak on his research on biomedical robotics and share with us how, by mainly focusing on the development of artificial bionic limbs in hands and arms, his work has given real amputees the use of bionic hands. Dr. Keith Kowalczyk will offer an overview of the evolution of surgical robotics, from its initial development to its current applications. He will examine how these advancements have sometimes improved surgical procedures and outcomes but also consider instances where they may not have had the desired impact. Marco Gilli, Science Counselor, Embassy of Italy, is the moderator and discussion leader.

“Science and Engineering in Medical Robotics: From Aspirations to Reality


Paolo Dario, Dott. Eng
Professor of Biomedical RoboticsScientific Director of the National Competence Center ARTES 4.0, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy

Paolo Dario is Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Robotics at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy. He has received a Laurea Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pisa and a MS HC in Biomedical Engineering from the University Campus Biomedico in Rome. He has been and is professor and fellow at various universities and scientific institutions worldwide. Currently, he serves as Chief Scientist at Dubai Fut Cempetence Centerure Labs. His current research interests are in the field of bio-robotics, bionics, and companion robots. Paolo Dario has coordinated many large national and European projects, and served in many EU Committees. He is the Scientific Director of the National Competence Center ARTES 4.0 on Industry 4.0, and the Coordinator of the European Digital Innovation Hub ARTES 5.0. Paolo Dario is an IEEE Life Fellow and the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics. He served as President of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, chaired several IEEE Conferences and received several prizes and Awards, including the 2017 IEEE RAS Pioneer Award for Biorobotics and the 2024 IEEE Technical Field Award for establishing and advancing Bionics and Biorobotics. His research accomplishments have led to the creation of several start-up companies, and to several practical applications in medical robots and medical bionics.

“A Brief History of Surgical Robotics: Evolution and Impact”


Dr. Keith Kowalczyk, MD
Physician Executive Director of MedStar Health Urology, Chair of the Department of Urology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and Chair of the MedStar Robotic Surgery Service Line

Dr. Keith Kowalczyk is the Physician Executive Director of MedStar Health Urology, Chair of the Department of Urology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and Chair of the MedStar Robotic Surgery Service Line. Based in Washington, D.C., he is a board-certified urologist with specialized training in urologic oncology and robotic-assisted surgery. Dr. Kowalczyk serves patients at MedStar Pasquerilla Healthcare Center in Georgetown and the Chevy Chase clinic.

Focused primarily on the treatment of kidney, testicular, bladder, and prostate cancers, Dr. Kowalczyk offers a breadth of surgical options. He was an early adopter and proponent of pelvic-fascia sparing, also known as Retzius-sparing, robotic prostatectomy. As one of the highest-volume surgeons in this technique and among the first to perform this surgery in the United States, he has published extensively on this groundbreaking approach. While proficient in traditional open surgery, Dr. Kowalczyk holds specific expertise in robotic-assisted procedures. He is one of the few surgeons in the D.C. metropolitan area with this specialized skill set. He has completed hundreds of robotic surgeries. His adoption of robotic technology allows for an extended range of motion and unparalleled surgical precision.

In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Kowalczyk is a dedicated researcher, primarily focusing on improving and standardizing surgical techniques. He is funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study prostate biopsy and prostatectomy outcomes. His dual role as Chair of the Urology and Robotic Surgery Service Lines at MedStar places him at the forefront of integrating innovative surgical techniques into comprehensive cancer care. As a leader in his field, Dr. Kowalczyk actively participates in health services research, including studies on cancer treatments, patient outcomes, and healthcare economics. He has contributed to numerous peer-reviewed articles centered on these important subjects.