An interdisciplinary research lab with the aim to design and understand the use of advanced surgical systems in coordinated surgical practice, simulated surgical learning environments, and post-operative care.

About the Lab

Started in 2012, the Interactive Surgical Systems Lab (ISSyL) is aimed at understanding surgical practice in order to design systems for intraoperative use and simulated surgical learning environments.  Housed within the Cambridge Health Alliance, the lab’s researchers are affiliated with the Harvard Medical School and come from a range of disciplinary backgrounds such as surgical medicine, computer science, and information science.  The lab is located across the street from the Cambridge Hospital where the investigation of surgical practice and deployment of new interactive devices occur.


  • ISSyL is hiring research assistants. Visit Opportunities to learn more.
  • Watch Dr. Schwaitzberg’s TEDxBeaconStreet talk on challenges and opportunities for surgical training around the world.
  • ISSyL will be at the SAGES annual meeting demonstrating and testing the new VBLaST tasks. Read more about VBLaST at Projects.
  • New papers on “Effects of Sleep hours and Fatigue on Performance in Laparoscopic Surgery Simulators” and “The Impact of Simulator Based Electrosurgical Training on Resident Education” by Amine Chellali have been accepted to the SAGES annual meeting. They are posted on Publications.
  • Imaging the Body:Embodied Vision in Minimally Invasive Surgery by Helena Mentis has been accepted to the CHI 2013. You can find a pre-print on Publications.
  • Submit to the CHI Workshop “HCI Fieldwork in Healthcare – Creating a Guidebook” and be a part of our Morgan & Claypool guidebook. Proposals are due January 7, 2013