Mission and Vision

Our Mission

The Cutting Edge Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Chicago in 2012.  Our mission is to provide funding for revolutionary surgical procedures and research to advance the art of surgery.  

The focus of our efforts is to support the innovations of the Department of Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in

  • developing minimally invasive, highly precise robotic surgical techniques to treat some of the most challenging and life-threatening diseases; and

  • finding functional cures for chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes.

Our goal is to support these visionary efforts and to make these advanced techniques available to all patients, including those with limited financial means.

Our Vision

Our vision is to revolutionize the ways in which surgery is performed and the ways in which chronic diseases are treated.

We want to support the advancement of surgery with minimally invasive, highly precise robotic techniques to treat some of the most challenging and life-threatening diseases, and in finding functional cures of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes.

Research at the UIC Department of Surgery

  • has helped more than twelve hundred patients convalesce more rapidly with nearly bloodless and minimally invasive surgeries
  • has achieved a functional cure for diabetes through islet transplantation
  • is developing new nanoparticle and stem cell based strategies to initiate kidney regeneration to avoid dialysis
  • has helped countless diabetics avoid amputation and walk again using new advances in wound healing and vascular surgical techniques
  • is developing a therapeutic for the treatment and cure of melanoma
  • has helped thousands of children smile with advanced craniofacial techniques

Accomplishments

  • First adult-to-adult living donor liver transplant in the US (1998)
  • First coronary artery bypass and liver transplant in the same setting (1998)
  • First liver and small bowel transplants from same living donor into same recipient worldwide (2004)
  • First robotic living donor hepatectomy in the US (2005)
  • First robotic pancreatectomy with auto-islet transplant worldwide (2007)
  • First robotic lung resection in the Midwest (2007)
  • First robotic Whipple procedure in the Midwest (2007)
  • First robotic total gastrectomy in the Midwest (2008)
  • First robotic renal artery aneurysm repair in the United States (2008)
  • First robotic total colostomy with ileo-rectal anastomosis in the United States (2008)
  • First robotic right hepatectomy for living donor liver transplant worldwide (2008)
  • First robotic right hepatectomy with hepatico-jejunostomy worldwide (2008)
  • First parathyroidectomy without neck incision in the United States (2008)
  • First fully robotic kidney transplant in obese recipients (2009)
  • First single port cholecystectomy in Midwest (2011)
  • First parathyroid transplant (2011)
  • One of two programs worldwide offering living donor transplant option for all abdominal organs: kidney liver, pancreas, intestine, combined liver/bowel, combined kidney/pancreas

With sincere gratitude,
we thank the families who have joined us in striving for cures

  • Carl H. and Billie M. Frese & Gerald Moss Professorship in Transplant Surgery
  • Claudia ā€œCJā€ Kubinski & Tapas K. Das Gupta Professorship in Surgical Oncology
  • Frank and Cathy Burzik Professorship in Wound Care & Tissue Repair
  • Jayant Radhakrishnan Professorship in Pediatric Surgery
  • Sara Smart Mansueto Professorship in Cardio-thoracic Surgery
  • Marion H. Schenk Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology
  • The Lloyd M. Nyhus Distinguished Chair in Surgery
  • Theodore & Joanne Drugas Endowed Chair in Vascular Surgery
  • Turi Josefsen Chair in Colon & Rectal Surgery
  • Warren H. Cole Chair in Surgery
  • Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation
  • Bruno Pasquinelli Robotic Training Laboratory      
  • Joyce and Albert Rubenstein Family Foundation
  • Tony & Bruno Pasquinelli Islet Center                    
  • Walter Payton Liver Center