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 STANFORD, Calif., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The pioneering veterinarian Howard A. Paul, 44, died last night in Stanford University Hospital of complications during treatment for acute leukemia. Mr. Paul developed ROBODOC(tm) Surgical Assistant System, which in November 1992 became the first robotic device ever to help perform surgery on a human being.
 His vision of putting technology to work in the operating room stemmed from deep concern for all living beings. "Hap refused to believe that the technological progress made in the past decades couldn't do a better job for patients-- animals or humans," said his wife Wendy Shelton, herself a veterinarian. "He couldn't bear to see animals suffer or to put them down if there was any alternative," she added. "That was why he worked so hard to make technology work effectively in the operating room."
 A native of West Hartford, Conn., Mr. Paul was a paper boy for the Hartford Courant. He was an all-state trumpet player in high school and for three years played "Taps" at Memorial Day observances. From West Hartford public schools, he went on to Notre Dame where he was goalie on the waterpolo team. He graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in microbiology. During the first ROBODOC surgery on a human being, his colleagues outside the operating room kept him posted on the Notre Dame- Boston College game over a cellular telephone. Three days after the first human surgery, Paul learned he had acute leukemia. He died the night before the final surgery in a 10-case feasibility study of ROBODOC, authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento.
 "Hap Paul was a visionary," said his friend and colleague, Orthopedic Surgeon William Bargar, of Sacramento, who co-developed ROBODOC and did six surgeries in the feasibility study. "But unlike a lot of visionaries he had grit and determination. He just wouldn't take no for an answer."
 From Notre Dame, he was recruited by a team of researchers at St. Vincent de Paul Hospital in Paris doing pioneering studies on human interferon. After two years at the hospital, he began veterinary studies at the Ecole Nationale Veterinaire d'Alfort. In France, in addition to his veterinary degree, Mr. Paul acquired a taste for briards, an old French breed of dog. His last briard, Faceman, survives him. Another taste acquired in France was clogs -- which he wore everywhere, under all circumstances, with all costumes, instead of ordinary shoes.
 His sense of humor was infectious and offbeat. As soon as ROBODOC had completed its task in the first surgery, an eighties recording of "Mr. Roboto" came blasting over the intercom -- Mr. Paul had planned the musical fillip for weeks.
 On his return to the United States in 1979, Mr. Paul completed an internship and surgical residency at University of California at Davis and served nine years on the faculty of the UC/Davis Medical School where he met orthopedic surgeon William Bargar.
 In the mid-eighties, he and Bargar made news by performing the first hip replacement on a snow leopard at the Calgary Zoo. They later did a knee replacement on a mountain lion. Neither was satisfied with the results of traditional orthopedic techniques -- on animals or humans. Mr. Paul was by then performing scores of joint replacements on dogs as chief of surgery for the Sacramento Animal Medical Group. Traditional methods of hollowing out bones for replacements lacked precision. Mr. Paul began thinking of ways to combine imaging and robotics -- a train of thought that eventually led to ROBODOC. The system includes a CT scanner to generate three-dimensional images of the thighbone, a robotic arm to drill the cavity and a computer program that links the scanner and the arm.
 ROBODOC might have stayed on the drawing boards had not Mr. Paul fallen ill in 1988 with Hodgkin's Disease. During treatment, his hands were temporary affected and he could no longer operate at his former high skill level. Consequently, he threw all his energies into ROBODOC. By the time Mr. Paul recovered fully, ROBODOC was born.
 In 1990, with support from IBM, Mr. Paul founded Integrated Surgical Systems, Inc., of Sacramento to develop and commercialize ROBODOC. After 26 successful hip replacements on dogs with severe arthritis, Mr. Paul won approval from the FDA for a feasibility study on the use of ROBODOC in humans.
 "Hap's premature death is a great personal loss," said Bela Musits, chief operating officer of Integrated Surgical Systems. "He was unique. Our tribute to him at ISS will be to pursue his goals and make his vision of a new era in medicine real and accessible to everyone."
 Mr. Paul leaves his wife, Dr. Wendy Shelton, and a daughter Eliza, 4, as well as his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Paul of Bloomfield, CT, twin brothers, Peter and David of Los Angeles, and his sister Debra Paul Rostowsky, of West Hartford.
 At his family's request, his ashes will be scattered in the Sierra Mountains where Mr. Paul loved to ski. A memorial service will be held for him in Hartford, Conn., at 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 14 in Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave. Rabbi Arnold Miller will officiate. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Leukemia Society of America.
 -0- 2/11/93
 /CONTACT: Lloyd Benson or Gilly Weinstein of Cudaback Strategic Communications 617-661-6330, for Integrated Surgical Systems, Inc./

CO: Integrated Surgical Systems, Inc. ST: California IN: SU:

SJ -- NE013 -- 5919 02/11/93 17:26 EST
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Date:Feb 11, 1993

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