As a premier pre-clinical research center, Experimental Surgical Services (ESS) is dedicated to advancing medical technology through translational research. As an integral part of the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center, we are dedicated to educating Minnesota’s future health care professionals.

The faculty and staff of Experimental Surgical Services work to facilitate advancements in patient care through education and diligent assessment of new therapies and medical devices.

Service: From study design to FDA submission, ESS scientists will work with you and your product every step of the way. Whether it’s a proof of concept procedure or final phase GLP study for regulatory submission, ESS has the personnel, facility, and versatility to suit your needs and schedule.

Resources: Partnering with ESS gives you unparalleled access to the University of Minnesota. Experimental Surgical Services is part of the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center, Medical School, and the Lillehei Heart Institute. From state of the art equipment to consultation with the highest regarded professionals in their field, ESS can utilize the resources of a world-class research university to meet your project needs.

Results: For more than 30 years, ESS has served the ever-changing needs of medical research. We continue to adapt and apply the latest techniques and technology to best meet the needs of your project.

Experimental Surgical Services celebrates 40 years of Advancing Health

Experimental Surgical Services celebrates 40 years of Advancing Health

This fall, the University of Minnesota (U of M) Medical School’s Experimental Surgical Services Laboratory (ESS) celebrated its 40th anniversary. Housed within the Department of Surgery, ESS is the only public pre-clinical research center in the country, and is at the forefront of medical research, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the field of surgery by testing and perfecting medical devices and surgical techniques before they go to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for commercial approval. 

Tradition of Innovation

ESS is the birthplace of open heart surgery. Since that first procedure over sixty years ago, the faculty and staff of Experimental Surgical Services have worked to carry on the tradition of performing the highest quality research to meet the ever-changing needs of patients.

Educating the Future

ESS is not only developing tomorrow’s surgical solutions, we’re educating healthcare leaders of the future. Open to high school, undergraduate and graduate school tours, ESS actively informs the public to the benefits and necessity of animal models in medical research.



Experimental Surgical Services is headed by Richard Bianco who has more than 35 years experience in managing and performing preclinical research procedures. He is a nationally known expert on biomedical research ethics and the modeling of human disease.

Richard W. Bianco, Program Director
Phone: 612-625-5914


John Carney, Director of Research Operations
Phone: 612-626-2599

Mignon Finn, Administrative Director
Phone: 612-625-8930

Stefanie B. Yorek, Assistant to Richard Bianco
Contact for appointment scheduling
Phone: 612-625-4937