Richard Price, PhD, of the University of Virginia Awarded Inaugural Andrew J. Lockhart Memorial Prize for Contributions to Cancer Treatment Using Focused Ultrasound
Charlottesville, VA – October 5, 2017 – The Focused Ultrasound Foundation announced that Richard Price, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering, radiology and radiation oncology at the University of Virginia, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the $75,000 Andrew J. Lockhart Memorial Prize. Andrew’s parents, Terry and Eugene Lockhart, presented the prize to Dr. Price on October 2.
The prize was established by Andrew’s family and friends, with the hope that focused ultrasound research can contribute to new therapies for cancer. Andrew passed away in 2016, after a hard-fought battle with cholangiocarcinoma, a particularly virulent cancer affecting the biliary system of the liver and gallbladder. Andrew’s mother Terry Lockhart, said, “Our family, including Andrew, was excited about the potential of focused ultrasound as a breakthrough treatment for very difficult cancers like his. This prize is a way for Andrew’s death to have a lasting, positive effect on others.”
The prize is awarded to an investigator who has already made outstanding contributions to the advancement of cancer treatment using focused ultrasound and who demonstrates great potential for further achievements in the field. Dr. Price has led focused ultrasound research projects on drug and gene delivery across the blood-brain barrier, drug and gene delivery to skeletal muscle to promote new blood vessel growth, and the mechanical effects of ultrasound-activated microbubbles to ablate tumors. The potential impact of his work across multiple diseases and its capability to lead to future innovations in the focused ultrasound field exemplifies the purpose of this prize.
“Rich Price has been on the vanguard of focused ultrasound’s application in the fight against cancer and other elusive diseases,” said Richard P. Shannon, MD, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Virginia. “Focused ultrasound can be transformational in a multimodality approach.”
“I am grateful to receive this award from the Lockhart family,” said Dr. Price. “This prize encourages the pursuit of new and exciting opportunities in the field of focused ultrasound and reminds everyone in my lab that people really care about the work we are doing and value our collective contributions.”
Founder and Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Neal F. Kassell, MD, said, “The Lockhart prize serves the dual function of advancing the field of focused ultrasound research and memorializing a dear friend and supporter of the Foundation, Andrew Lockhart.”
Even prior to Andrew’s diagnosis, the Lockhart family supported the work of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in accelerating this technology towards clinical adoption. “We want to help this technology advance quickly for the sake of others and have always been impressed at the efficiency with which the Foundation operates,” said Gene Lockhart. “It’s frustrating to think that one or two additional years of research might have improved Andrew’s quality of life.”
Dr. Price was selected from a strong field of applicants – all of whom are encouraged to apply again in 2018. Information about the Andrew J. Lockhart Memorial Prize can be found on the Focused Ultrasound Foundation website.
About the Focused Ultrasound Foundation
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was created to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide by accelerating the development of focused ultrasound, an early-stage noninvasive therapeutic technology with the potential to transform the treatment of many medical disorders. The Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that focused ultrasound finds its place as a mainstream therapy within years, not decades, and works to fund research, foster collaboration, and build awareness among patients and professionals. Since its establishment in 2006, it has become the largest non-governmental source of funding for focused ultrasound research.