Jacques Marescaux is professor of Surgery and Founding President of the Research Institute against Digestive Cancer (IRCAD), an institute with a unique structure that has propelled surgery into the information age, particularly in treating digestive system cancers.
He is also founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Hospital-University Institute of Strasbourg (IHU), a centre of excellence whose aim was to develop image guided minimally invasive surgery and foster technology transfer. In addition he founded the European Institute of Telesurgery (EITS) as a training facility that has promoted the know-how and ground-breaking work of IRCAD. Since its creation in 1994, EITS has become an international reference, having trained nearly 40 000 surgeons from 125 countries. A number of “mirror” institutes have already opened in Taiwan (2008), in Brazil in the State of Sao Paolo (2011) and Rio de Janeiro (2017), Beirut, Lebanon (2019), and a fifth institute will open in Kigali (Rwanda) in 2020-2021 to train surgeons from the African continent in minimally invasive surgery techniques. An additional institute is planned to open in Wuxi, near Shanghai (China) in 2021-2022.
In 2000, the IRCAD-EITS launched a virtual online university – WeBSurg – that reflected a very real need to maintain links between the training centre and the community of surgeons. The content of this website has been validated by a scientific committee and is elaborated exclusively by healthcare professionals and accredited by the most prestigious international scientific societies. WeBSurg encapsulates high-quality technology with high-speed multimedia communication systems in order to broadcast pre-recorded surgical interventions. The site is available in six languages (Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish) and access is free of charge, which is vital, especially in developing countries.
In addition, Professor Marescaux was the initiator of a Biocluster project, combining biotechnology, nanotechnology, imaging studies, robotics and computer-aided systems, within the IRCAD buildings. The project has welcomed around 20 start-up companies in the area of medical devices since January 2014.
In 2001, he performed the first transcontinental laparoscopic operation, from New York, on a patient in Strasbourg. . This operation was baptised the “Lindbergh operation”. On 2 April 2007, he became the first surgeon in the world to have carried out a surgical operation without leaving a scar.
Jacques Marescaux and his team have published over 4 000 national and international articles and communications, in journals such as Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Annals of Surgery and Archives of Surgery. He has received honorary titles from many universities and holds honorary fellowships at the Royal College of Surgeons (UK) and the Japanese society of endoscopic surgery (JSES). He sits on numerous editorial boards. He was made Officer of the French National Order of Merit (2007). In the French National Order of the Legion of Honour, he was first made Knight (1999), then Officer (2012) before being promoted to Commander in 2019.
He has furthermore been invited to speak at over 400 conferences, in numerous universities in Europe, the United States, Japan and China. Of particular note are the Royal College of Surgeons induction conference in London, the “Nobel lecture” in Stockholm and the “Fogarty lecture” at Stanford University.