Dr. Bass is a Professor of Surgery at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the Methodist Hospital. She is the Executive Director of MITIESM and Chair of its Advisory Committee. In this role she creates the vision of MITIE's mission and works with the leadership of Methodist and the other Department Chairs to garner support for the Institute. She is also the lead person for establishing industrial and academic collaborations for MITIE and ensures that the mission of the Institute is in line with national initiatives in medical education. Dr. Bass is a recognized leader in surgical education. She has served as a Director and Chair of the American Board of Surgery, President of the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, Governor of the American College of Surgeons including a term as Chair of the Board of Governors, Treasurer of the American Surgical Association, and Chair and Member of the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons. She has also been a successful researcher with an interest in intestinal mucosal physiology and her laboratory received continuous extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Veteran's Administration Healthcare System for 18 years.
Dr. Dunkin is Chief of Endoscopic Surgery at the Methodist Hospital and the Medical Director of MITIE. He directs and manages all of the daily operations of the Institute. This includes designing and implementing educational activities both in the West Pavilion and the ISL, ensuring compliance with all regulatory bodies, managing MITIE's finances, brokering industrial and philanthropic support, and collaborating on the architectural design. He is also responsible for recruiting and hiring personnel and ensuring the proper function of day-to-day activities. Dr. Dunkin is a recognized leader in the field of minimally invasive surgery, surgical endoscopy, and the use of computer simulation to teach gastrointestinal endoscopy. He also has extensive experience at running educational and research centers, having been the Director of the Center of Excellence for Laparoscopic and Minimally Invasive Surgery at the University of Miami prior to his recruitment to the Methodist Hospital in January of 2007. Dr. Dunkin has served as a course director, co-director, or invited faculty for numerous national and international educational activities and has been a fellowship director for over 5 years. He serves on the Board of Governors for the Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgery (SAGES) and in a leadership role on committees for the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
Nilson Salas, M.D.
Dr. Nilson Salas is Director of the MITIE Inanimate Skills Laboratory (ISL) and the Microsurgical Research and Training Program. He is also a Senior Research Associate in the Methodist Hospital Research Institute (TMHRI). Dr. Salas received his medical and urology degrees from The Andes University, Mérida, Venezuela. He completed his Pediatric fellowship at the Children's Hospital "J.M. de Los Rios", and a fellowship in Oncology at the Hospital Padre Machado, Caracas, Venezuela. His interests focus on teaching surgical skills in microsurgery and laparoscopic surgery. He has designed new techniques for teaching and evaluating microsurgery skills and invented a synthetic human vas deferens model (SilaVas-patent pending) for practicing microscopic vasovasostomy. He also has designed a cost-effective laparoscopic box trainer (patent pending) as an inexpensive and effective way to teach and acquire laparoscopic skills. His publications include research in the area of laparoscopic models for the simulation of laparoscopic urethrovesical anastomosis. Prior to joining MITIE in 2008, Dr. Salas held a faculty position in the Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine where he directed the surgical skills lab; training residents and medical students in open, laparoscopic and microsurgical techniques.