Inaugural John Wickham Award goes to Claude Abbou

06 September 2018

Prof. Claude Abbou is the winner of the first John Wickham Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to robotic surgery. The prize was awarded in Marseille, at the 15th Annual EAU Robotic Urology Section meeting, ERUS18.

The award was presented by Prof. Wiklund on behalf of ERUS. “Claude Abbou was a clear first choice for this award,” Wiklund said, “he contributed immensely to the development of robotics in urology.” Abbou wrote some of the first papers on the potential of robot-assisted radical prostatectomy at the turn of the century. Soon after, he pioneered robotic renal transplantations.

“I am honoured to be the first recipient,” Prof. Abbou said on the occasion. He then gave an overview of major milestones in the two decades of robot-assisted urology, philosophising on an autonomous future.

John Wickham
The award will be 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.

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.