The McMaster Institute for Surgical Invention, Innovation and Education (MISIIE) was established in 2005 as a McMaster University Institute to enhance collaboration among researchers and investigators from Faculties of Health Sciences, Engineering, Sciences, and the Business School.  

The primary goal of MISIIE is to capitalize on the success and international recognition of McMaster investigators from the Center for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) in the field of Minimally Invasive, Robotic and Telerobotic Surgery.  

In 2009 MISIIE was granted $15 million by the Ministry Innovation CECR program to establish a not-for-profit incubator, the Center for Surgical Invention and Innovation (CSii), to support the research and development of IP generated by MISIIE researchers in the field of medical robotics and related technologies.  

In 2017 CSii established its first spin off company Insight Medbotics Canada Corporation (IMCC). The Goal of IMCC is to take the novel automated medical robotic systems developed by CSii to market. IMCC is currently completing the regulatory requirements for FDA and health Canada licensing of Image Guided Automated Robot (IGAR) for early detection and treatment of breast cancer.  

MISIIE is currently working to develop an autonomous image guided intelligent robot for detection and treatment of early breast and prostate cancers.  

Over the last 5 years MISIIE has strengthened it relationship with key industry and academic partners in particular with MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA; builders of Canadarm), IBM Canada (through our work on AI technology), Johnson and Johnson Canada, Stryker, GE, Robarts Research Institute and Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre.  

MISIIE was also a significant partner in establishing the McMaster ICES hub and is currently one of the major collaborators with ICES and is conducting multiple research studies by linking the Ontario Bariatric Registry to the ICES database. We currently support and collaborate with 95 research projects from academic staff at McMaster, Toronto, Queens, and Ottawa Universities.  

In addition, the investigators at CMAS have continued to expand on research studies to evaluate and promote new innovative minimally invasive approaches as well as evaluate the role of bariatric surgery in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and other comorbidities associated with obesity.  

Research and educational programs are supported by MISIIE through its various centres including: CMAS, CSii and CORA (Centre for Radiology Anatomy) 

MISIIE’s academic staff are engaged in clinical research through CMAS and engineering research and development through CSii and IMCC. 

Centre for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) 

The Center for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) is a Faculty Center within the Faculty of Health Sciences and its primary mandate is to provide educational programs for medical students, residents, surgeons in practice, as well as other allied health workers in the field of minimal invasive surgery. Despite its educational mandate CMAS has also initiated and supported numerous research studies in evaluation of methods of distant learning including telementoring and telerobotic surgery, as well as studies evaluating the clinical outcomes of novel MIS procedures.  

CMAS possesses significant research infrastructure including skilled research staff as well as dedicated space at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton. CMAS provides research support to its core faculty and trainees. Monthly research meetings are organized to stimulate collaboration among different groups: MIS, bariatric, endocrine and robotics 

Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation (CSii)  

CSii is a research accelerator and one of two National Centers of Excellence for Commercialization of research established at McMaster University. Its primary goal is to facilitate the development and validation of the next generation of Canadian medical/surgical and robotic technologies, with the goal of increasing the access and quality of care for all Canadians.  

The center was established as a partnership between; McMaster University, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and MDA (leading robotic manufacturer in Canada).  

The Canadian government has committed billions of dollars to the development of space technology; as a result, Canada has dominated the field space robotics with the Canadarm, Canadarm2DEXTRE and the Canadarm 3 (currently being designed) which were created for use on the Space Shuttle program and the International Space Station (ISS).  

Capitalizing on Canadian expertise in robotics, CSii is poised to become the international leader in the development, testing, validation and commercialization of novel robotic and minimally invasive surgical platforms and tools.  

The Center for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) and CORA are Faculty Centers affiliated with Faculty of Health Sciences and have acted as the primary educational arm of MISIIE supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students at McMaster. In addition, MISIIE has collaborated with Faculty of Engineering and the DeGroote School of Business to support a number of graduate students in biomedical engineering and business.


Over the last five years CMAS has run 161 courses/conferences, providing education to over 2,220 surgeons, nephrologists, fellows, residents, nurses and medical students. Some of the new courses CMAS introduced are our PD Insertion Course for Nephrologists; Advanced Trauma Operations Management (ATOM) course; Comprehensive Gynecology Laparoscopy course; Abdominal Wall Reconstruction and Parastomal Hernia course; Femoroacetabular Impingement Course; and Laparoscopic Duodenal Switch course. CMAS also became involved in the Take Your Kids to Work Day Program, as well as ran events for the Surgery Interest Group and Technology in Medicine Interest Group for students from McMaster. 

The Center for Minimal Access Surgery (CMAS) and CORA are Faculty Centers affiliated with Faculty of Health Sciences and have acted as the primary educational arm of MISIIE supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students at McMaster. In addition, MISIIE has collaborated with Faculty of Engineering and the DeGroote School of Business to support a number of graduate students in biomedical engineering and business.


The Centre of Radiological Anatomy (CORA) was established in 2005 under the directorship of Julian Dobranowski, Professor, Department of Diagnostic Imaging. The focus of the CORA project has been on educational resource development of discrete teaching modules and a better understanding of learner and program needs.

CORA’s activities have been suspended over the last five years due to Dr. Dobranowski taking a position with the Niagara Health System; however, now that Dr. Dobranowski has returned activities will resume.

MISIIE and its three centers i.e. CMAS, CSii and CORA were established as partnership between McMaster University and the academic hospitals in Hamilton affiliated with McMaster University. St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton has been the dominant partner providing over 5000 sq. ft of office and lab space to MISIIE, CMAS, CSii and CORA.

In addition, MISIIE and IMCC have office space at McMaster Innovation Park and CSii has over 3000 sq. ft of engineering and lab space at MDA in their Brampton site. More recently, IMCC has been provided additional 1500 sq. ft of space at MDA to establish a showroom for its IGAR platform to showcase its product.

CMAS and CSii both have direct relationships with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and have conducted a number of joint research projects including NEEMO Missions 7 & 9 as well as a partnership for our Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) Teleop Grant, and the proof of principle research in development of autonomous medical robot. MISIIE and MDA are collaborating with CSA to develop a feasibility plan for development and production of an autonomous medical robot for provision of emergency surgical intervention to astronauts during long space travel including the Mars mission.

CMAS has also developed a strong academic and research affiliation with Technion in Haifa Israel and have hosted 5 clinical fellows from Technion over the last 6 years.

Insight Medbotics

 Insight Medbotics Canada Corporation (IMCC) is a start-up company formed November 2017 through the partnership of The Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation (CSii) and MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA). IMCC's goals are to improve the accuracy of diagnosis in breast disease and lead the world in the robotic treatment of breast cancer and non-invasive disease with minimally invasive focal techniques. IMCC's major achievement is the development of Judith: a robotic system that improves the accuracy and simplifies the execution of MR guided biopsies and excision of lesions. Future generations of this system will support therapies such cryotherapy, or minimally invasive non-surgical excisions.

 To satisfy customers, a new technology such as Judith must offer a complete solution. Insight’s approach to creating complete solutions is not to DIY every part of the solution but instead to partner; to find and team with the best of the best at every aspect of the development.

Some of Insight’s partners and suppliers include:

  • The Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation (CSii) – not only a Founding Partner, but Insight is able to leverage the R&D and clinical trial work already performed by CSii in order to navigate through Health Canada and FDA. As well CSii provides the IP required to ensure Judith is not replicated.
  • MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) - not only a Founding Partner, MDA is Insight’s engineering, R&D, and production partner. In particular, Insight leverages MDA’s leadership in the design of MRI-compatible robotics solutions. MDA not only provides clean engineering space for the production of Judith but also has a state-of-the-art showroom where potential investors can see Judith in a mock MRI environment and see Judith in action.
  • IBM – providing key work in developing artificial intelligence for Judith. The IBM Watson Cognitive Computer System has pushed forward the development of imaging systems that can automate MRI analysis and improve interpretation, reporting, and interventional planning for physicians.
  • Ironstone Product Development - helping to guide Insight through the process of obtaining regulatory approval for Judith, both in the U.S. and around the world
  • NeoCoil - the innovative Milwaukee company behind the newest and best MRI coil & patient support solution for breast cancer
  • Hologic - supplier of the market-standard off-the-shelf tools for MRI-guided breast biopsies
  • Sanarus - innovative creator of technology for minimally-invasive cryoablation for breast cancer treatment