About Our Awards

The Foundation is dedicated to advancing the field of focused ultrasound and enhancing patient care through research funding. We provide support to investigators in academia and medical research disciplines worldwide for preclinical translational research studies and clinical trials. In order to obtain funding, the proposed research must involve or advance the use of non-invasive image-guided focused ultrasound to treat humans or companion animals.

Research Priorities

Eligibility for awards is determined by our research priorities as defined by the following criteria:

  • Technology
  • Research stage
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Clinical Indication

The Foundation only funds projects involving the use of non-invasive image-guided focused ultrasound to treat disease.

Research Stage
The Foundation supports preclinical translational research studies and clinical trials. Research funding is prioritized for:

  • Preclinical translational studies, including veterinary medicine studies, with an emphasis on translational proof of concept laboratory studies with the goal of supporting clinical trials.
  • Clinical trials for first-in-human and other innovative clinical trials.

Mechanisms of Action
The Foundation prioritizes funding for research on:

  • Immunomodulation
  • Neuromodulation
  • Gene therapy
  • Drug delivery (including Blood Brain Barrier opening)
  • Sonodynamic therapy

Clinical Indications
The Foundation prioritizes funding for research in the fields of oncology and neurodegenerative disease. Current priorities include:

  • Neurodegenerative disease: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer and cancer immunotherapy: glioblastoma (GBM), diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), diffuse midline glioma (DMG), pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and metastatic cancer

Research Funding Mechanisms

Foundation research funding is driven by a two-step application submitted online by the investigator. Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis. Learn more about the application process on the Apply for Funding page. The Foundation offers two award types:

Clinical Awards
The Foundation funds first-in-human and other innovative clinical trials involving the use of image-guided focused ultrasound to treat diseases. Funding for clinical trials is determined through a peer-review process, and the timing and dollar amounts are determined on a case-by-case basis. Priority is given to clinical indications with a clear patient need. Application instructions and materials are provided here.

Preclinical Awards
The Foundation funds investigator-initiated preclinical or early-stage research projects through a competitive peer-reviewed application process. Applying for preclinical research funding is covered here.

Our Preclinical Awards Program supports investigator-initiated research projects in the form of one-year awards totaling approximately $100,000, paid out in three or more installments tied to progress reports throughout the term of the project. This program typically does not fund large capital purchases, overhead or institutional expenses, or the development of new focused ultrasound equipment. Exceptions to these guiding principles may be considered if the project addresses a gating factor in the near-term development of a reimbursable clinical application. Robust scientific design is prioritized over positive results (high failure risk is acceptable), and translational projects are preferred.

Program Tracks

General Awards Program
The Foundation also funds projects that fall outside of these high-priority research areas. These projects are generally translational studies that target a particular clinical indication/organ, or address early-stage, high-risk, proof-of-concept research that is unlikely to be funded by other organizations. Read More

Brain Program
The Foundation considers the brain to be the vanguard target for focused ultrasound. Our research is geared towards addressing technical challenges to speed the adoption of focused ultrasound, and exploring novel uses of the technology in preclinical models. We have hosted numerous workshops to convene leaders in the field and define clear research objectives. Read More

Cancer Immunotherapy Program
With the recent advances in immunotherapy, the Foundation has taken a special interest in projects that harness focused ultrasound’s ability to induce an immune response, whether alone or as an adjuvant to an immunotherapeutic. We fund preclinical, early-stage research that will translate rapidly to the clinic. The Foundation has hosted several workshops, bringing together experts from diverse fields, and has funded several large projects exploring the effects of focused ultrasound on the immune response to a tumor. Read More

Veterinary Program
Veterinary medicine provides a unique opportunity to benefit both humans and their companion animals. We fund comparative medicine trials that will aid in the adoption of focused ultrasound therapies for human use, while also providing a non-invasive treatment option for veterinary diseases. The Foundation is actively seeking new collaborations in this area. Read More

Industry Award Program
The Foundation also funds the focused ultrasound industry through SAFE and Royalty agreements for non-academic research. Read More  

Educational Program
As part of our general mission to advance focused ultrasound research, the Foundation also provides funding for projects that will help cultivate the next generation of researchers in the field. Read More


For Clinical Awards please contact Lauren Powlovich, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer

For Preclinical Awards please contact Chrit Moonen, PhD, Scientific Programs Manager