Catherine Mohr began her career as an engineer, working for many years with Paul MacCready at AeroVironment to develop alternative-energy vehicles and high-altitude aircraft. Her midcareer break: medical school, where she invented a brilliantly simple device, the LapCap, that makes laproscopic surgeries safer.
Mohr now oversees the development of next-generation surgical robots and robotic procedures, as the director of medical research at Intuitive Surgical Inc., where she's the clinical design leader for the DaVinci Surgical Robotic system. She also works at Stanford's School of Medicine, where she studies simulation-based teaching methods to teach clinical skills to budding doctors. And she's a senior scientific advisor to the GlobalSolver Foundation, an innovative funding and study group that looks at ways to match up scientists and money to help the world's oceans.