On September 28, 2009, more than 75 attendees trekked to Cargese, Corsica, for the Third Autumn School on Therapeutic Ultrasound.  The School was directed by Gail ter Haar, PhD, of the Institute of Cancer Research, and Mathias Fink, PhD, founder of the Institut Langevin in Paris.

The organizational heavy lifting was undertaken by two full-time researchers at the Institut Langevin, Jean-François Aubry and Jean-Luc Gennisson, who did an exceptional job of bringing together attendees from 10 countries, including 19 faculty members.  For the students, it was an incomparable opportunity to learn from the leaders in the rapidly emerging field of therapeutic ultrasound.  The lectures began with an introduction to the physics and biophysics to build the foundation for understanding the technical aspects of therapeutic ultrasound, followed by individual lectures on topics ranging from commercial devices for treating prostate cancer to emerging applications for focused ultrasound.  – Joy Polefrone, PhD, FUSF

The small town of Cargese, with only 290 inhabitants, allowed all of the sage and budding scientists in this newly emerging field to delve into the current technology, assess new developments as well as systems under development, and freely explore a wide range of biological and engineering challenges to FUS. The setting afforded ample opportunities for participants to meet with faculty while looking out over the cliffs, beaches, and Mediterranean sunsets.  Where or when the next FUS school for scientists will take place is not yet known – France, London, or the USA.  But hopefully it will afford opportunities to delve into many topics and to appraise the latest developments in the field with the same success experienced in Cargese in 2009. Stanley H. Benedict, PhD, University of Virginia

A dedicated Focused Ultrasound Center with comprehensive research plans

The Symposium was opened by James M. Larner, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at UVA, and director of the new Focused Ultrasound Center. “If this technology is half as successful as many people in this audience today would say, a number of other technologies will be disrupted,” Larner said. “But we have no choice but to recognize and help uncover the truth.”

Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Philips Healthcare, was elected to the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation Board of Directors at its meeting on September 14, 2009.

The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation is delighted to announce the election of Steve Rusckowski to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Rusckowski became the executive vice president and chief executive officer of Philips Healthcare in November, 2006, and has been a member of the Philips Board of Management since April 2007. He was previously CEO of the Imaging Systems business group of Philips Healthcare.

Five years in the making, the first of several “Centers of Excellence” planned by the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation was dedicated at the University of Virginia on September 14. Its mission: to become a leader in translational (or applied) and clinical research, training, and patient care, employing MR-guided Focused Ultrasound.

The UVA Center – and others like it still to be created – will play a central role in spurring the development of this new and promising technology.

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