Centers of Excellence


The Foundation’s Center of Excellence Program brings together the best people and technical resources at select luminary sites in a multi-disciplinary environment. 

The Centers are created through partnerships of academia, industry, and the Foundation to serve as hubs for collaboration and establish standards for research, training, and patient care. The Foundation’s first Center of Excellence was inaugurated at the University of Virginia in September 2009 through a public-private partnership of the Foundation, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the University of Virginia, InSightec, and GE.

The Center is recognized as a leading site for focused ultrasound brain research, having pioneered clinical trials for essential tremor and Parkinsonian tremor, as well as conducting numerous technical and pre-clinical studies to establish the potential of the technology for a range of neurological disorders. The center also conducts clinical research in cancer and provides commercial treatment for uterine fibroids and bone metastases. The UVA Focused Ultrasound Center, led by James Larner, MD, and Research Director Richard Price, PhD, fosters collaborative research across departments, disciplines, and institutions.

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation and Philips entered into an innovative public-private collaboration with The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in September 2013. The partnership will create a focal point for ultrasound therapy research at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden in London under the international Focused Ultrasound Foundation Centers of Excellence Program.

The initiative will create a state-of-the-art resource for clinicians and scientists working on high intensity focused ultrasound therapy, developing clinical evidence in oncology and establishing best practices, treatment standards and protocols. The initiative’s scientific director is Gail ter Haar, Professor of Physics at the ICR. Its clinical director is Nandita deSouza, Professor of Translational Imaging at the ICR and Honorary Consultant at The Royal Marsden.

In 2015, Brigham and Women's Hospital was named a Foundation Center of Excellence. As many as 50 focused ultrasound researchers in three different laboratories span the Boston campus of Brigham and Women’s Hospital where, in conjunction with Harvard Medical School, they are pioneering innovative uses of focused ultrasound and advancing these new approaches from bench to bedside. We profiled three of the leaders in focused ultrasound there in September 2015. 

In 2016, three new sites earned the Center of Excellence title.

Stanford University - Directed by Pejman Ghanouni, MD, PhD, and Kim Butts Pauly, PhD, Stanford’s Center focuses on a number of clinical and pre-clinical projects. These include industry-sponsored trials using MRgFUS to treat osseous metastases, uterine fibroids, essential tremor, and prostate cancer, as well as investigator-initiated trials using MRgFUS to treat soft tissue tumors and facet joint arthritis. Pre-clinical projects have included the development of referenceless methods for MR thermometry in the brain, as well as respiratory-compensated MRgFUS in treatment of porcine liver during free-breathing. These clinical and pre-clinical projects involve close collaboration with clinical colleagues in Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Urology, Pathology, Immunology and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

The University of Maryland - At present, the UMD departments of Neurosurgery, Radiology, and Neurology are collaborating to study treatment of movement disorder, chronic neuropathic pain, brain tumors and the use of enhanced drug delivery. In addition, their studies into immunomodulation range from investigation of cell systems to animal models to human clinical trials. Read the site profile from September 2016. 

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre - Located in Toronto, Sunnybrook is conducting research for focused ultrasound in neurology, neurosurgery, urology, orthopedics, gynecology, radiation oncology, and biomedical engineering and have studies planned in the near future for Alzheimer’s, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and others. Read the site profile from November 2016 >


CoE graphic Nov16


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