The Surgical Research Laboratory is one of the special research units of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. It was founded in 1952 by Dr. Frank Raffucci as the research workshop of the Department of Surgery. Due to its importance, it has endured the years and has grown to be one of the main training tools for surgeons as well as researchers. The current director is Dr.Anwar Abdul-Hadi Martínez.

As an integral part of the Department of Surgery, the Laboratory is responsible for research and teaching in the general field of surgery and its subspecialties, including orthopedics, neurosurgery, urology and otorhinolaryngology, but also ophthalmology and gynecology. It also serves as the base for surgical researchers associated with the Medical School. It has active teaching programs for faculty, residents, students and community surgeons interested in refining their surgical technique and also those interested in surgical research.

The Surgical Research Laboratory is at the forefront, training our surgeons in endoscopy, laparoscopic surgery, as well as ultrasonic surgical devices. Interaction of our unit with private industry is increasing steadily, leading to the expanding use of this unit for new surgical equipment testing and evaluation.

Our address is:

Surgical Research Lab.
Medical Sciences Campus, UPR
P.O. Box 365067
San Juan, P.R. 00936-5067

Phone: (787) 758-2525 ext. 1050
Fax: (787) 294-1272


Our current facilities are located on the tenth floor and include five fully equipped operating rooms, a radiology suite, simulation area, prep-room and surgical instrument. We have available for use surgical instruments, two operating microscopes, three endoscopic surgery towers, five anesthesia machines, and EKG unit.

Our facilities are fully accredited for live surgery by the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). Adjacent to us on the tenth floor, the entire infrastructure needed for surgical research is available, including the Animal Resource Center and the Animal Health Technology Program. The Department of Surgery, located on the ninth floor, has a faculty of 30 board certified surgeons that include all surgical specialties and is highly involved with academia and research.

Conference Room:

We also have available a conference room fully equipped for training and conferences such as:

  • Courses Certifications on: ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support) & ATCN (Advance Trauma Care for Nurses)
  • Laparoscopic Courses and Training
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Our current staff is comprised of a full-time surgeon, a veterinary health technologist, and two operating room assistants.

Anwar Abdul-Hadi Martínez, MD

Dennisse Ruiz Valentín
Veterinary Health Technologist:

Antonio Cotto Rosado
Operating Room Assistant


These are exciting times in the field of surgical research, from voice-controlled robotic 3D-endoscopic surgery to ultrasonic tissue fragmentation; this technological revolution has changed the way we do surgery in the 21st century. Currently, we are working on the installation of cameras and internet terminals in each of our operating rooms to allow the transmission of live surgery courses through the internet “Tele-Medicine” project. Our enthusiasm is stimulated by these new developments and we are pleased that we are in a position to contribute to the advancement of surgical science.