The Silicon Valley Business Journal has honored UC Santa Cruz medical robotics expert Jacob Rosen with the 2012 Health Care Heroes award in the research category.

Rosen, an associate professor of computer engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering, was honored along with top doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals at an awards ceremony on Thursday, May 10, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

Rosen leads the Bionics Lab at UC Santa Cruz, where his research focuses on medical robotics, including robotic surgery and the use of robotics for rehabilitation from stroke and neuromuscular disabilities. His team recently built a set of seven advanced robotic surgery systems and shipped them to major medical research laboratories throughout the United States. Robotic surgery has the potential to enable new surgical procedures that are less invasive than existing techniques. In addition, telesurgery, in which the surgeon operates a robotic system from a remote location, offers the potential to provide better access to expert care in remote areas and the developing world. Having a network of laboratories working on a common platform will make it easier for researchers to collaborate.

Rosen has also developed a wearable robotic "exoskeleton," which could be used for rehabilitation and physical therapy. A clinical trial is currently under way at UCSF to evaluate the use of the robotic exoskeleton for rehabilitation of stroke patients.

Rosen and the other award winners are profiled in a special supplement in the May 11 Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.