Pioneering urologist and surgeon Inderbir S. “Indy” Gill, M.D., was welcomed to Los Angeles and the University of Southern California Trojan Family at a Beverly Hills reception hosted by actress Shirley MacLaine and Keck School of Medicine of USC Dean Carmen A. Puliafito on Saturday, May 30.
More than 300 guests, including USC friends, donors and referring physicians, attended the cocktail gala at the Montage Hotel, including MacLaine’s brother, actor Warren Beatty and his wife, actress Annette Bening, and USC Executive Vice President and Provost C.L. Max Nikias.
Gill is chairman of the Catherine and Joseph Aresty Department of Urology and is the founding executive director of the USC Institute of Urology. Recruited from the Cleveland Clinic, where the urology program is ranked #2 in the country by U.S. News and World Report, Gill has pioneered minimally invasive surgeries for cancers of the kidney, prostate and bladder.
Gill is the first in the world to perform single-port “belly button” laparoscopic kidney donation surgery in a virtually scar-free manner. He also is the world leader in performing minimally invasive, kidney-sparing surgery for kidney cancer.
MacLaine, in her introduction of Gill, noted that Beatty found him when looking for a surgeon to help a friend. MacLaine said she spoke to Gill at length and was impressed with what she heard from him.
“We discussed the role of surgery, urology and the broader scope of what the medical profession means,” she said. “I found him to be conversant, and an extremely intelligent man.”
MacLaine, who joked earlier that she may have known Gill “for about one million years,” expressed her hope that her friendship with Gill would last many years to come.
“I think minds are like parachutes � they function more fully when they’re open,” she said. “Welcome, Indy, my friend with a parachute mind.”
Puliafito noted Gill’s “leadership in the field of robotic and laparoscopic surgery for urologic cancers” and his international reputation. “He is truly a beacon surgeon � 70 percent of his patients come from around the world and across the United States.”
Gill elicited murmurs of amazement during his discussion of innovations his team is working on, including organ building and regeneration, image-guided surgery, automated robotic surgery and development of personalized medicine.
He also outlined his strategic vision for the USC Institute of Urology, including the goal of seeing the program ranked among the top five urologic programs in the country in the next five years, and the importance of philanthropy in achieving that goal.
He entertained the group with a story of inviting Warren Beatty to watch a surgical procedure. Beatty smiled and shook his head as Gill recalled Beatty, in a sterile environment, reaching out to rescue an item of surgical equipment that appeared to be falling.
“USC is really breathtaking in scope,” Gill said in closing. “The entrepreneurship and leadership are energizing. We will put together a world-class team.”
The USC Institute of Urology includes 20 full-time faculty and more than 30 post-graduate residents and fellows dedicated to excellence in patient care and research. The institute comprises eight specialty centers including: the Center for Comprehensive Urologic Oncology, Center for Pediatric Urology, Center for Kidney Transplantation, Advanced Robotics and Image-Guided Surgery Center, and Center for Female Urology, among others.