Located at Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, the University of Dundee’s Cuschieri Skills Centre (CSC) is one of Europe’s most advanced centres of excellence for the teaching and training of surgeons in laparoscopic (or keyhole) surgery.
CSC was founded by Professor Sir Alfred Cuschieri, one of the world's pioneers of keyhole techniques and a former head of surgery & molecular oncology at Ninewells. It is an outstanding example of successful collaboration between the university, NHS Tayside and industry.
Under the directorship of consultant surgeon Mr Iain Tait, the Centre provides surgical skills training to over 900 trainees per year across all grades using synthetic materials, animal tissue, virtual reality and human cadavers.
Three skills training laboratories, equipped with state of the art laparoscopic equipment provided by Karl Storz of Germany, simulated operating theatre set-ups, micro-surgery operating microscopes, virtual reality simulators and workstations for up to 20 trainees, provide a realistic environment for teaching and training in surgical techniques.
The Centre’s use of cadavers, embalmed using a technique pioneered by Professor Walter Thiel of the University of Graz, has offered exciting new opportunities both in surgical skills training and medical device testing.
Collaboration is key
Collaboration with the university’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID), which carries out pioneering work on the ‘Thiel’ technique of preservation, is key to these developments.
The environment in Dundee provides a superb opportunity for companies looking to collaborate or invest here.
Graeme Findlay, director of strategic development within the university’s College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing says: “The physical qualities of Thiel cadavers lend themselves ideally to a much improved model for testing the effectiveness of new medical devices and instruments. Both CSC and CAHID are active in this area, collaborating with industry and backed up with state of the art infrastructure and internationally renowned know-how and expertise.”
The work being done at the CSC and CAHID illustrates the university’s excellence in medical/biomedical education and research, and also its priority of making industrial collaboration effective and easy.
He continued: "The achievements and commitment to innovation and external collaboration demonstrate clearly the level of excellence and strength of cooperation between CSC, CAHID and Ninewells Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe."
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