Dan Stoianovici, Ph.D.

Headshot of Dan Stoianovici
  • Director, Urology Robotics Program
  • Professor of Urology

Research Interests

Medical robotics


Dr. Dan Stoianovici is a professor of urology, mechanical engineering and neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Stoianovici serves as the director of the Urology Robotics Program. His research focuses on the design, manufacturing and control of robots for direct image-guided intervention (DIGI).

He has developed numerous robotic systems and medical devices, including include a novel backlash-free rotary transmission (Ball Worm), a pneumatic stepper motor (PneuStep) and a fully actuated MRI-stealth robot (MrBot).

Dr. Stoianovici received his undergraduate degree in mathematics and physics from the National College Fratii Buzesti in Romania. He earned his Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University. He completed his fellowship in urology research at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Stoianovici joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1997.

Dr. Stoianovici serves on the editorial board of several journals, including Minimally Invasive Therapy & Allied Technologies and Journal of Robotics. His work has been recognized with a Best Paper Award by the IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics and a Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Award. His bibliography includes numerous articles, presentations and patents of invention.

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  • Director, Urology Robotics Program
  • Professor of Urology
  • Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Professor of Oncology

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • Ph.D.; Southern Methodist University (Texas) (1996)

Additional Training

  • The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 1998, Urology Research

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Stoianovici’s work focuses on building image-guided robots to perform precise biopsies and therapies. His research is experimentally oriented and includes extensive hands-on expertise in computer-controlled manufacturing and software development for image-guided navigation.


The URobotics Program (Urology Robotics) was established in 1996 with the purpose of advancing the technology used in urology. The integrated, multi-disciplinary team of students, engineers and clinicians collaborate with other departments at Johns Hopkins departments (primarily radiology) as well as other domestic and international groups. The URobotics lab specializes in the development of surgical robotic systems, particularly robotics for image-guided intervention (IGI). Besides urology, the instruments and systems created in the lab apply to other medical fields, especially interventional radiology. Two things make the lab unique: First, the unusual interdisciplinary partnership of engineering and urology and second, the complex manufacturing equipment, which is rarely seen in research laboratories. The close relationship of design and manufacturing allows for a short feedback cycle and more advanced designs and final products.

Lab Website: URobotics

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Stoianovici D, Kim C, Srimathveeravalli G, Sebrecht P, Petrisor D, Coleman J, Solomon S, Hricak H. “MRI-safe robot for transrectal prostate biopsy.” IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. 2014;(99). Ahead of print.

Kaye DR, Stoianovici D, Han M: Robotic ultrasound and needle guidance for prostate cancer management: review of the contemporary literature, Current Opinion in Urology. Jan 2014; Vol.24(1) pp.75-80; PMCID:24257431

Srimathveeravalli G, Kim C, Petrisor D, Ezell P, Coleman J, Hricak H, Solomon SB, Stoianovici D. “MRI-safe robot for targeted transrectal prostate biopsy: Animal experiments.” British Journal of Urology International. 2013 Oct 10.

Garg A, Siauw T, Berenson D, Cunha JAM, Hsu IC, Pouliot J, Stoianovici D, Goldberg K. “Robot-guided open-loop insertion of skew-line needle arrangements for high dose rate brachytherapy.” IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering. 2013 Oct;10(4):948-956.

Kim C, Chang D, Petrisor D, Chirikjian G, Han M, Stoianovici D. “Ultrasound probe and needle-guide calibration for robotic ultrasound scanning and needle targeting.” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. 2013 Jun;60(6):1728-1734.

Stoianovici D, Kim C, Schäfer F, Huang C-M, Zuo Y, Petrisor D, Han M. “Endocavity ultrasound probe manipulators.” IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. 2013 Jun;18(3):914-921.


Surgical needle probe for electrical impedance measurements.
Patent # 6,337,994 | 

Friction Transmission with Axial Loading and a Radiolucent Surgical Needle Driver.
Patent # 6,400,979 | 

Medical Imaging Environment Compatible Positioning Arm
Patent # 6,857,609 | 

System and Method for Robot Targeting under Fluoroscopy Based on Image Servoing.
Patent # 7,008,373 | 

Remote Center of Motion Robotic System and Method.
Patent # 7,021,173 | 

Ball-Worm Transmission
Patent # 7,051,610 | 

Planetary - Harmonic Motor.
Patent # 7,086,309 | 

Planetary Motor.
Patent # 7,247,116 | 

System and Method for Laser Based Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Registration.
Patent # 7,477,927 | 

Controllable Motorized Device for Percutaneous Needle Placement in Soft Tissue Target and Methods and Systems Related Thereto.
Patent # 7,494,494 | 

Robot for Computed Tomography Interventions.
Patent # 07,822,466 | 

Pneumatic Stepper Motor.
Patent # 08,061,262 | 

Device and Method for Medical Training and Evaluation.
Patent # 8,403,675 | 

Vertebral Body Reduction Instrument and Methods Related Thereto.
Patent # 9,161,787 | 

Rotating Needle Driver and Apparatuses and Methods Related Thereto.
Patent # 9,610,131 | 

Cohesive Robot-Ultrasound Probe for Prostate Biopsy.
Patent # 10,159,469 | 

Vertebral Osteotomy Saw Guide
Patent # 10,271,856 | 

Contact for Research Inquiries

5200 Eastern Ave
MFL-West, URobotics, D0115
Baltimore, MD 21224 map
Phone: 410-550-1980

Email me

Activities & Honors


  • Outstanding Paper Award, Engineering and Urology Society, 2012
  • Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Award, 2012
  • Outstanding Paper Award, Engineering and Urology Society, 2010
  • Best Paper Award, Engineering and Urology Society, 2009
  • Best Paper Award, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 2008
  • Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Award, 2007
  • David H. Koch Award for Treatments and Cure of Recurrent Prostate Cancer, 2006
  • Best Paper Award, Engineering and Urology Society, 2006
  • Research Award, Prostate Cancer Foundation, 2006
  • The Johns Hopkins Alliance for Science and Technology Award, Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2005
  • Technology Fellowship Award for Mentorship, Teaching, and Education, The Johns Hopkins University, 2005
  • Kennametal Technical Education Award in Machining Technology, 2003
  • The Gene Haas Foundation Award for Education in Manufacturing, 2002
  • Best Paper Award: Force & Torque Control, American Control Conference, 1997
  • Best Newcomer Robot, US FIRST National Robotic Championship, 1995
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Southern Methodist University, 1994
  • Teaching and Research Assistantship, Southern Methodist University, 1992


  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1993
  • Affiliate Member, American Urological Association, 1996
  • International Society for Computer Aided Surgery, 1997
  • Engineering & Urology Society, 1997
  • Endourology Society, 1998
  • Society for Medical Innovation and Technology, 2006

Professional Activities

  • Editor, Minimally Invasive Therapy & Allied Technologies, 2007
  • Editor, International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Aided Surgery, 2004
  • Executive Director, Engineering & Urology Society
  • Section Editor, Journal of Endourology, 2001
  • Consulting Editor, Journal of Robotic Surgery, 2006 - 2013
  • Editor, Journal of Robotics, 2007 - 2011
  • Technical Editor, IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 2008
  • Lead Guest Editor, Focused Section, Surgical and Interventional Medical Devices IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, 2010 - 2011
  • Consulting Editor, British Journal of Urology International (BJUI), 2012
  • Associate Editor, IEEE Access, 2013
  • Member, NATO Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science and Engineering Committee, 2001 - 2002
  • Reviewer, United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command / CDMRP, PCRP, 2001 - 2002
  • Member, American Urological Association, Research Scholar Review Committee, 2006
  • Member, Study Sections, NIH, Medical Imaging, Cancer Imaging, 2006 - 2008
  • Member, Study Sections, NIH, Biomedical Imaging Technology, 2008
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