About EndoTheia

EndoTheia, Inc. was borne out of a collaborative effort between engineers, roboticists, and clinicians who all share a common mission: to improve standards of care in flexible endoscopy by re-imagining the way in which tools are delivered through endoscopes.

To date, EndoTheia has been funded exclusively through non-dilutive federal grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The EndoTheia Team

Robert J. Webster III



Robert Webster provides strategic technical leadership to the EndoTheia team. He is professor of mechanical and electrical engineering at Vanderbilt University, where his research focuses on the intersection of engineering and surgery. Throughout his academic career, he has invented and developed many novel robotic surgical systems and has 38 awarded and pending patents to his name. His impact in robotic surgery has been recognized through numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation Career award, the IEEE Volz award, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award. He is a co-founder of the Vanderbilt Institute for Surgery and Engineering (VISE), which brings together surgeons and engineers to solve challenging clinical problems. He is a graduate of Clemson University and Johns Hopkins University.


Joshua Gafford

Chief Technology Officer


Joshua Gafford leads and manages all day-to-day engineering activities at EndoTheia. He is an expert in medical devices and surgical robotics, having spent his academic career developing next-generation devices and robotic systems for endoscopic surgery. During his tenure as a postdoctoral scholar in Robert Webster's research lab, Joshua led the submission of several NIH SBIR/STTR proposals; efforts which have resulted in two funded awards and $1.4M of non-dilutive seed funding for EndoTheia to date. He received his Ph.D from Harvard University, where his research focused on the development of modular robotic systems for therapeutic endoscopy. He is also a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.


Scott Webster

Chief Operating Officer


Scott Webster leads and manages all day-to-day business operations at EndoThiea. He has more than a dozen years of experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. He is an expert in business development and regulatory compliance. He has developed comprehensive commercialization road maps for multiple different technologies which include: business modeling, CMS/private payer reimbursement, market size estimations, intellectual property positioning, regulatory risk evaluation, value proposition, competitive landscape evaluation, and revenue projections. Most recently, his work at Virtuoso Surgical (a Nashville based startup) directly led to successfully raising more than $7 million dollars to commercialize a novel robotic surgical system. Scott obtained his doctoral degree from the Medical College of Georgia, during which time he was the recipient of eight different best research awards at regional and national conferences, received multiple academic scholarships, was an invited speaker to both the NIH and St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and was recognized for his leadership and outstanding community involvement.


S. Duke Herrell

Chief Medical Officer


Duke Herrell provides strategic clinical leadership to the EndoTheia team. He is a urologic surgeon and pioneer in robotic surgery and minimally invasive surgical approaches. He is the director of the robotics committee at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is a co-founder of the Vanderbilt Institute in Surgery and Engineering (VISE). Dr. Herrell’s research has focused on creating novel surgical robotic systems and devices for minimally invasive surgery, and his papers have been cited over 3900 times. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia School of Medicine.


Caleb Rucker

Chief Science Officer


Caleb Rucker is the primary inventor of the techology at the heart of the EndoTheia device, and provides technical guidance and expertise to the EndoTheia team. He is an Associate Professor of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and directs the REACH Robotics lab, where his research interests lie at the intersection of robotics, solid mechanics, and medical applications. As an expert in solid mechanics and medical robotics, his contributions to the field have been recognized through an NSF Early Career Development Award. He is a graduate of Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University.