In early March, veteran researchers and students across the field of focused ultrasound convened in Les Houches, France, for the 2019 Winter School on Therapeutic Ultrasound.

Held biennially, the School offers an excellent opportunity for those early in their career to meet and connect with experts in focused ultrasound. The educational agenda included lectures from esteemed researchers in the field.

This year, the Foundation sponsored seven students to attend the Winter School. Learn more about each student, their research, and what they found most valuable about their experience at the workshop.

Gadi Cohen NIHGadi Cohen, PhD
Postdoctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research, Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health
Current research focus: Proteomic and transcriptomic changes in tumor microenvironment of murine melanoma and breast cancer models following pulsed ultrasound treatment 
Mentor: Joseph Frank, MD

“As a scientist in cancer research, I use ultrasound daily and examine its therapeutic benefits. However, until participating in the Winter School, I have yet to experience such a thorough and comprehensive seminar regarding the basics of the use and theory behind this technology. The variety of high quality speakers with an obvious passion for the field gave both fascinating and highly useful talks. The tools and insight I got from these lectures are invaluable. In addition to expanding my knowledge, I also expanded my worldwide network of collaborators and friends in the field. There are a few potential collaborations that may come out of these new connections. I thank the Focused Ultrasound Foundation for this wonderful opportunity, and I hope you continue to extend this opportunity to other young scientists in the field, so they can benefit as I did.” –Gadi Cohen

Mercado croppedJennifer M. Colón Mercado, PhD
Post-doctoral IRTA fellow in the Laboratory of Diagnostic Radiology Research, Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health
Current research focus: Inflammatory response after blood-brain barrier disruption using focused ultrasound
Mentor: Joseph Frank, MD

“Participating in the Winter School 2019 allowed me to exchange ideas and future research directions with the leaders in the field of focused ultrasound. The Winter School provided an optimal environment to network with top researchers. The evening meetings and discussions allowed us to reflect on current and future investigations and the potential contributions to the field that could have great impact in the clinical setting. The sponsorship by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation allowed me to obtain a better understanding of ultrasound physics and the translational properties of this technology.” – Jennifer M. Colón Mercado

Fisher croppedDelaney Fisher
PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia
Current research focus: Using focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier for the delivery of neurotrophic factors in models of Parkinson’s disease
Mentor: Richard Price, PhD

“As a first year PhD student, the extensive lectures offered during the Winter School greatly expanded my knowledge on the fundamentals of therapeutic ultrasound as well as the multitude of its applications. During the week, I was able to form connections with people from all over the world in differing areas of expertise and gain insights from them to improve our lab’s practices and considerations. Students are also encouraged to present their work at the workshop, which further fosters discussion and collaborations of those with overlapping research goals. I am incredibly grateful for the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s sponsorship for me to attend this workshop. Winter School offers the opportunity to learn, demonstrate, and connect, which is important for the growth of all young researchers and, ultimately, the focused ultrasound field.” – Delaney Fisher

WilliamGarrisonLI croppedWilliam Garrison
PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia
Current research focus: MRI, primarily in the contexts of lung imaging and focused ultrasound treatment assessment
Mentor: Wilson Miller, PhD

“Focused ultrasound medical research draws scientists from many different backgrounds, including biology, physics, engineering, and fields in between these. As trainees generally cannot be experts in all of these disciplines, it is extremely enriching for us to have the opportunity to meet and form connections with other trainees who have expertise in different fields related to focused ultrasound.” –William Garrison

Catherine GorickGorick
PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia
Current research focus: Developing a platform for endothelial-selective transfection of the cerebral vasculature using focused ultrasound
Mentor: Richard Price, PhD

“The Winter School program facilitated many networking connections with other students as well as post-docs and professors from around the world. It also provided me with a strong education in the various physical mechanisms of ultrasound and MRI and introduced me to some different applications of these technologies with which I was not otherwise familiar. I came away from the program with some new ideas about how best to monitor cavitation during preclinical brain FUS treatments.” –Catherine Gorick

Meng croppedYing Meng, MD
Neurosurgery resident at the University of Toronto
Current research focus: Investigating the biological effect of focused ultrasound blood-brain barrier opening on the brain and systemically
Mentor: Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD

“The 2019 Winter School provided a comprehensive program from world experts in therapeutic ultrasound. Speakers from basic and clinical research, as well as industry, offered diverse perspectives. Sponsorship of young researchers by the FUS Foundation was an invaluable opportunity to expand our knowledge, accelerate research, and network with experts from across the world in a friendly environment. In particular, I was inspired with new insight on how to approach current research challenges.” –Ying Meng

Thim croppedAndrew Thim
PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia
Current research focus: Using focused ultrasound to promote anti-tumor therapeutic delivery, leukocyte adhesion and infiltration
Mentor: Richard Price, PhD

“The Winter School allows us to gather with like-minded individuals and learn about our field, from the mechanical to biological, in a completely immersive environment. While at the Winter School, I was able to troubleshoot my in-house built FUS system with Erik Dumont, an expert in image-guided therapy. He was able to diagnose the problem immediately after I described it. It also made me want to focus more on the technical aspect of focused ultrasound in conjunction with the biological therapy so as to make more informed therapeutic hypotheses.” –Andrew Thim

UVA Winter School students 16x9 closeup

Left to right: William Garrison, Andrew Thim, Catherine Gorick, Delaney Fisher


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