Brain Tool Laboratory

In Collaboration with

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Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics

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Humans and Autonomy Lab

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Intelligent Motion Lab

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Duke Robotics


where engineering meets neurosurgery

In 2015, the Brain Tool Laboratory was established by Dr. Patrick Codd as a collaboration between the Department of Neurosurgery and the Pratt School of Engineering. Since that time, engineers and neurosurgeons have worked together to tackle some of the most difficult problems facing the surgical community. Fostering a true atmosphere of collaboration, the Brain Tool Laboratory is in a unique position to bring about significant change to the field of surgical robotics.

Through a careful examination of surgical operations, researchers approach each problem by stripping away the physical and mental constraints imposed by decades of traditional surgical methodology. In this manner, the Brain Tool Laboratory is able to advance the field of surgical robotics while keeping patient benefit and overall device value as its highest priorities.


Fielding the strongest team in surgical robotics

Dr. Patrick Codd

Lab Director
Neurosurgery Faculty
patrick.codd [at]
Dr. Codd is the Director of the Brain Tool Laboratory and an Assistant Professor at Duke University. Nearly a decade of surgical achievements and a strong passion for technology have given him a keen understanding of the relationship between engineering and neurosurgery. – bio

Wes Ross

Graduate Student
If in doubt, hire a Wes. A critical thinker and always excited about the work at hand, Weston is an integral part of the BTL and his influence stretches far beyond his role of leading the laser-tissue interaction research for the TumorCNC.

Matt Tucker

Graduate Student
Matt is a PhD student working on a variety of projects ranging from the creation of a non-contact cancer diagnostic tool based on fluorescence spectroscopy to the development of a solid tissue phantom used to further develop the automated tumor resection device (TumorCNC).

Ian Hill

Graduate Student
Ian is a Ph.D. student primarily working on a device to track surgical instruments, but his hands-on affinity for mechanical design and development make him an asset to every project at the lab.

Guangshen Ma

Graduate Student[at]
Guangshen is pursuing a PhD Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Guangshen is working on a method to register three-dimensional surface scans to MR images.

Dylan Crocker

Graduate Student
Dylan is pursuing an MS in Mechanical Engineering and is developing a novel intracranial flow-diverting stent delivery system to improve occlusion rates of aneurysms by improving the accuracy of stent graft placement in endovascular neurosurgery.

Dr. Shervin Rahimpour

Neurosurgery Resident
Dr. Rahimpour is a Neurosurgery resident. With a research background in chemical physics and mathematics his primary clinical interests are in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery

Dr. Andrew Cutler

Neurosurgery Resident
Dr. Cutler is a Duke Neurosurgery resident. He strives to push the envelope of Neurosurgery through his background in mechanical and bioengineering. He believes the best solutions happen through collaboration.

Dr. Kelly Murphy

Neurosurgery Resident
Kelly is a Neurosurgery resident at Duke University. Kelly is assisting in the development of an intraoperative cancer diagnostic device.

Narendran Narasimhan

Undergraduate Student
Naren is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering and is currently working on the optical design for a mobile, automated tumor resection device (TumorCNC).

Suzanna Joseph

Suzanna is an undergraduate studying Neuroscience at Duke University. Suzanna is aiding in the development of an intraoperative cancer diagnostic device. Suzanna helps to designs experiments that elucidate the capabilities of the device.

Iris Chang

Undergraduate Student
Iris is an undergraduate at Duke studying Mechanical Engineering. She is excited to see and work on the application of engineering in neurosurgery and hopes to contribute to several hands-on projects in BTL.

John Wahlstedt

John is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering. John is aiding in the development of an OR instrument tracking system. Specifically, John assists with the rapid prototyping of key designs.

Ju Kim

Ju is an undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering. Ju is helping to develop automated technologies that will be used in the Dermatology space.

Shan McBurney-Lin

Medical Student
Shan is a medical student at Duke University. Shan assisting in the development of an OR instrument tracking system.

Catherine Wallace

Medical Student
Catherine (Cat) is a medical student at the Medical College of Georgia. Catherine is assisting in the development of optically tunable solid tissue phantoms.

Lab Alumni

Wes Hill

Graduate Student
westin.hill [at]
After spending three years working among the brightest minds in defense, Wes was recruited to the BTL from MIT Lincoln Laboratory. He is an extremely versatile engineer, capable of crossing any number of subject fields in search of the best solution.

David Britton

IP Attorney
More information about David can be found at:

Dr. Kimberly Hoang

kimberly.hoang [at]
Her comprehensive knowledge of neurosurgical operations is complemented by a contagious energy and strong aptitude for engineering. Simply put, the team would be lost without her. – bio

Eamon Bracht

Undergraduate Student
Eamon is majoring in Bioengineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Eamon is working to off-board the automated tumor resection device (TumorCNC) to a mobile cart that can be used in the operating room.

Sreekar Mantena

Sreekar is passionate about leveraging emerging technologies to make a difference in the field of healthcare, and is a robotics enthusiast.

Neil Cornwell

Undergraduate Student
Neil is a Biomedical Engineering student from North Carolina State University assisting in the development of the automated tumor resection device (TumorCNC).

Dr. Avra Laarakker

Neurosurgery Research

Lefko Charalambous

Medical Student
Lefko is a medical student at Duke University.

looking to join the team?

The Brain Tool Laboratory has openings for qualified students from most engineering backgrounds.
Take your time crafting a message; we will not respond to canned emails.

Current Research