Nicolas Mignan

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer

Nicolas is the CEO of VirtualiSurg and one of the co-founders. He is passionate about the transmission of knowledge and know-how, and about technological breakthroughs and innovations applied to the field of training. Nicolas has a background as a law teacher and then as a Human Resources Director. He has always worked in close contact with the medical world and the world of higher education. He has been Director General of Services for several French universities (University of Versailles, University of Paris Descartes, now Université Paris Cité). For Nicolas, VirtualiSurg is the lever to improve the quality of care in the world, to respond to demographic challenges and to contribute to the excellence of each health professional in his daily practice.
In his spare time, Nicolas reads philosophical essays, and he is particularly interested in the writings of Spinoza.

Elen Collaço, PhD

Co-founder & Chief Technological Officer

Passionate about immersive technologies, a gamer from the early 90s and award winner in robotics and human-computer interface, Elen holds a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Polytechnic School of Sao Paulo. Elen’s goal was to prove how immersion and haptic technology impact the performance of clinical students in a dental procedure. Elen was also intrigued by how to mathematically model expert surgeons to promote automated assessment at scale. Elen was the lead researcher and co-creator of the award-winning VIDOdonto project developed at Polytechnic School of Sao Paulo in 2015. Her research was supported primarily by FAPESP Project Grants.

As the CTO and co-founder of VirtualiSurg, Elen implements all the knowledge that has been scientifically proven to create incredible, scalable, state-of-the-art learning platforms. Elen leads a team of extremely talented minds who come from the world’s top computer science and engineering schools. Elen also brought VIDOdonto’s team of highly trained engineers to VirtualiSurg. Now working together since 2015.

Elen also appreciates good food and nature. In her freetime, you can find Elen enjoying authentic French cuisine in Paris or sailing around a beautiful island off the coast of Brazil, not forgetting her VR headset in her backpack of course.

Pierre Tapie

Co-founder  & Strategic Advisor

An academic and multi-entrepreneur, Pierre began his career with 10 years of research in biophysics and cell biology, then ran an agricultural engineering school and its venture capital company, then ESSEC, one of France’s two leading business schools, which he took to Asia. 
In 2013, he created Paxter, a consulting firm in university strategies and engineering, and a personal business angel activity, after having transformed the entrepreneurial ecosystems of the schools he managed and accompanied the creation of Ecocert, Deezer, Content Square and LightInDerm.
Pierre joined Nicolas Mignan in 2017 to co-found VirtualiSurg, which combines his passions for education, biology and cutting-edge technology. He is convinced that VirtualiSurg can be a game changer both for efficient and ethical surgical training and to address the massive need for surgeon training in the South. He supports VirtualiSurg in the successful completion of its successive fundraising campaigns.

Prof. Patrick Pessaux, MD

Co-founder  & Chairman of Medical and Scientific board

Professor Patrick Pessaux is in charge of the Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery Unit in the Digestive and Endocrine Surgery Department of the University Hospitals of Strasbourg. He holds a Doctorate in Science in “Methods and Analyses of Health Systems” from Lyon 1.
After initial training in digestive surgery at the University Hospital of Angers, he specialised in hepato-biliary and pancreatic surgery and liver transplantation at the Beaujon Hospital in Paris with Prof. Belghiti, before practising at the University Hospitals of Strasbourg (HUS) since 2006.
He is developing innovative, minimally invasive hepato-biliary and pancreatic surgery using new technologies including robotics and image-guided surgery at the University Hospital Institute of Strasbourg (IHU Strasbourg).
He directs the teaching on this theme within the IRCAD (Institute of Research in Cancer of the Digestive System) in France, Taiwan and Brazil.
He is also involved in fundamental research as a member of the INSERM U1100 research unit “Virus-host interactions and liver diseases”.
In 2020 he was also involved in the MIPR (Miami International Evidence-based Guidelines on Minimally Invasive Pancreas Resection) with Professor Go Wakabayashi.
He is currently President of the French Association of Surgery (AFC), he is author of more than 230 publications in national or international medical journals

Scientific & Medical Board

The medical and scientific strategy is defined by an advisory board of experts. It is chaired by Prof. Patrick Pessaux.

Composition of the medical and scientific board of VirtualiSurg

Prof. Patrick Pessaux

Prof. Sébastien Froelich

Prof. Gérard Friedlander

Prof. Franck Duteille

Dr. Guillaume Pourcher