About Our Awards
The Foundation strives to create knowledge by funding research to accelerate the field of focused ultrasound toward the clinic and to improve patient care. Our funding supports investigators in academia and medical research disciplines around the globe and projects across various stages of research. Our Pre-Clinical Awards support early, proof-of-concept projects and animal studies aimed at either developing new therapeutic mechanisms or demonstrating pre-clinical safety or efficacy in specific disease areas. Our Clinical Trial Awards provide funding for first-in-human and other innovative clinical trials. In order to obtain funding, the proposed research must involve or advance the use of minimally or non-invasive image-guided focused ultrasound.
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.
This research funding mechanism is driven by a two-step application submitted online by the investigator. A one-page Research Abstract (step 1) must be submitted first. The Foundation will invite full Research Proposals (step 2) from authors of approved Research Abstracts. Once the full research proposal is received, it will be sent for external peer-review. Funding decisions (fund, revise, or reject) are returned to the applicant approximately two months after their application is submitted. In general, investigators from whom revisions are requested will have only one opportunity to address reviewer comments before a final decision (fund or reject) is made.
The Foundation provides funding for investigator-initiated pre-clinical or early-stage research projects through a competitive peer-reviewed application process. Applying for pre-clinical research funding is covered here.
Our Pre-Clinical Awards Program support 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, and 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.
This research funding mechanism is driven by a two-step application submitted online by the investigator. A one-page Research Abstract (step 1) must be submitted first. The Foundation will invite full Research Proposals (step 2) from authors of approved Research Abstracts. The Research Proposals are then assigned to a program track (see below for more information) and sent for external peer-review. Funding decisions (fund, revise, or reject) are returned to the applicant approximately three months after their application is submitted. In general, investigators from whom revisions are requested will have only one opportunity to address reviewer comments before a final decision (fund or reject) is made. Please bear in mind that the review timelines depend on the program track assigned.
The Foundation has a number of funding programs that prioritize various research topics. After reviewing the submitted abstract (Clinical or Pre-Clinical), the Foundation will assign the project to the appropriate program track. Abstract and proposal submissions for all programs are accepted on a rolling basis. Funding decisions are completed on a rolling schedule as well, with the exception of the General Awards program where decisions are made quarterly.
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.
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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 pre-clinical models. We have hosted numerous workshops to convene leaders in the field and define clear research objectives.
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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 pre-clinical, 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.
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The Foundation recognizes the tremendous impact that focused ultrasound could have on children who are faced with many different diseases and conditions. The noninvasive nature of this technology makes it especially attractive as a treatment option for the pediatric population as it has fewer side effects than more traditional treatments. Through our dedicated Pediatrics Program and in collaboration with our partners and the research community, we aim to explore and assess the full potential of focused ultrasound for the pediatric population through support of preclinical laboratory studies, clinical trials and expanded regulatory approvals.
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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.
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Industry Award Program
The Foundation also funds the focused ultrasound industry through SAFE and Royalty agreements for non-academic research.
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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.
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For Clinical Awards please contact Tim Meakem, MD, Chief Medical Officer
For Pre-Clinical Awards please contact Matt Eames, PhD, Director of External Research