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Over the past decade, Associate Professor Cao has collaborated academically with leading international robotic thoracic surgeons, including Professor Franca Melfi, who published the first scientific paper on robotic thoracic surgery in 2002. More recently, Associate Professor Cao collated the largest international database on robotic thoracic surgery to date, with publications as the First Author in the top three international cardiothoracic journals – Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, and European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.