This year’s Jonn Wickham Award winner is Prof. Prokar Dasgupta (London, GB). The ceremony took place on 14 September 2023, the second day of ERUS23 in Florence.
Prof. Dasgupta spoke to us on this special occasion: “I’m honoured and privileged. But this is not a one-man show, this award belongs to the team in London, really. I remember how in 2017, I was waiting after John Wickham’s funeral to seek permission from his widow to have the award created in his name by ERUS. She was very happy to give us permission. Without Mr. Wickham’s work in robotics, we wouldn’t be dreaming of doing events like ERUS23. To then receive it five years later, in Florence, my favourite city, is just unbelievable.”
Prof. Peter Wiklund, who is part of the committee that selects the winner every year hailed Prof. Dasgupta as a most-deserving recipient: “Prof. Dasgupta is one of the really, really early adopters of robotic urology, in effect becoming the first robotic surgeon in the UK. He is also continuing to innovate, especially in AI applications in robotic surgery.”
“Prof. Dasgupta has done a lot of basic science work related to robotic surgery and published extensively on this. He was Editor-in-Chief of the BJUI until recently. His CV goes well beyond robotics, and he has done a lot of research in bladder physiology. He was awarded an OBE earlier this year, the latest of so many awards.”
John Wickham Award
Prof. Dasgupta joins previous Wickham Award winners Dr. Richard Gaston (2022), Prof. Alexandre Mottrie (2021) Prof. Walter Artibani (2019) and Prof. Claude Abbou (2018). The award is given on an annual basis, honouring surgeons who have made a significant contribution to robotic surgery. The prize consists of a medal featuring an engraving of John Wickham’s likeness. No winner was announced in 2020 due to the virtual nature of ERUS20.
The award is named after John Wickham (1927-2017), a true pioneer of robotic surgery. Together with Prof. Brian Davies of Imperial College, Wickham developed and engineered the first robotic device in urological surgery named the PROBOT. Wickham used the PROBOT to perform the very first robotic procedure on the prostate in London in April of 1991. He coined the phrase “minimally-invasive surgery” to describe the future of the field. Mr. Wickham passed away in late 2017, at the age of 89.