Will Grissom, PhD, from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering has been awarded the first External Research Award of 2014 for his project titled “MR Temperature Imaging Toolbox for Focused Ultrasound Neurosurgery.” This project aims to develop brain temperature imaging sequences and processing algorithms that directly address the current shortcomings of MR thermometry at each stage of therapy.

Dr. Grissom was one of the invited attendees at the Foundation’s 2012 brain program imaging workshop and attended the 2013 treatment envelope workshop via Skype. The project will involve collaboration with Craig Meyer, PhD at the University of Virginia.

Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging plays a central role in noninvasive focused ultrasound surgery in the brain because it provides temperature “mapping” during treatment. The temperature maps are used both to steer the ultrasound beam and to measure thermal dose. However, current MR thermometry methods provide insufficient spatial coverage and suffer large distortions, which may compromise patient safety and limit the overall effectiveness of the therapy.

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