InBae Yoon (1936–2014) was born in Korea and graduated from Yonsei University School of Medicine in Seoul in 1961.
Three years later, through a program that matched Korean medical doctors with United States hospitals and medical schools, Yoon immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his internship and residency at Church Home and Hospital, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.
Dr. Yoon became fascinated with minimally invasive surgical techniques that promoted shorter recovery times and less scarring for the patient.
He began inventing devices for laparoscopic surgery, including safety trocars that create openings in the body and provide access for the insertion of other surgical instruments.
Dr. Yoon received more than 200 US patents for his inventions.
In the late 1990s, Dr. Yoon established the I.B. Yoon Multi-Specialty Endoscopic Research & Training Center at his alma mater, Yonsei University School of Medicine in South Korea. In his dedication address, he stated, “I dreamt of a clinical institute at Yonsei that would be equipped with the most advanced technologies, such as endoscopic or minimally invasive procedures, to improve patient care. I believe that physicians at Yonsei will take quantum leaps in medical care and practice based on the innovation and integrity I have already witnessed here.”
Learn more about Dr. InBae Yoon’s life and work:
- Explore the InBae Yoon Papers at the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
- Read a tribute to Dr. Yoon written by former Lemelson Center head of invention education Tricia Edwards
- Check out objects from Dr. Yoon in the collections of the National Museum of American History