The September 2019 issue of the journal Movement Disorders dedicates a Special Series to focused ultrasound research in Parkinson’s disease.

The 5th annual meeting of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (KSTU) was held September 5-6, 2019, in Gyeongju at the Hwabaek International Convention Center, which is also the site for the 2020 International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) conference. Even in the midst of typhoon “Lingling,” more than 100 participants from across Asia attended the event, including the Foundation’s Ambassador to Asia, Dong-guk Paeng, PhD.

KSTU group“Besides the great educational sessions, the meeting was a good opportunity to distribute pamphlets about the Foundation’s research opportunities and its 2020 Symposium,” said Dr. Paeng. “We also had good conversations and suggestions for new partnerships with scholars and companies in Asia.”

Two members of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s Council, Jessica Che-yi Chao (from Taiwan) and Bernice Szeto (from Hong Kong), traveled to Gyeongju to attend the meetings and scientific sessions. They interacted with physicians and researchers while learning about focused ultrasound treatment techniques and trends.

“I was worried that the talks would be too difficult to understand, but there were sessions that were understandable to me, and every bit we gained is valuable! It was a crash course in focused ultrasound,” said Chao.

“It was truly an eye opening and a phenomenally educational experience to the world of focused ultrasound and its potential!” added Szeto.

Scientific Sessions
The evening of September 5 featured a committee meeting and presidential dinner with invited speakers from Japan, Taiwan, and the United States, including Dr. Joo Ha Hwang, the current president of ISTU.

The morning sessions on September 6 featured presentations on applications of various types of non-thermal therapeutic ultrasound in cancer immunotherapy including enhanced drug delivery. Then two plenary lectures featured guest speakers from large research centers:

  • Dr. Joo Ha Hwang, from Stanford University, delivered “An Overview of and the Future Potential of Therapeutic Ultrasound.”
  • Dr. Isabelle Aubert, from Sunnybrook Research Institute, presented “Focused Ultrasound Applications for Alzheimer’s Disease.”

In the afternoon, the international session featured five presentations from invited speakers:

For the Japanese Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (JSTU):

  • Prof. Nobuki Kudo from Hokkaido University gave a lecture about microbubble dynamics inside a capillary network model.
  • Dr. Kazuo Maruyama from Teikyo University talked about drug delivery to tumor tissue.

For the Taiwan Association of Interventional and Therapeutic Ultrasound (TAITU):

  • Dr. Chih-Kuang Yeh from National Tsing Hua University gave a talk about oxygen-loaded microbubbles with acoustic tweezer.
  • Dr. Wei-Chieh Chang from Show Chwan Memorial Hospital shared his experience with MR-guided focused ultrasound in the treatment of X-linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism (XDP).

For KSTU:

  • Dr. Jin Woo Chang from Yonsei University Severance Hospital talked about blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption for brain disorders.

An afternoon session titled “New Horizons of Therapeutic Ultrasound in Clinical Applications” included three lectures: one about focused ultrasound and urological disease, one on focused ultrasound for uterine disease, and one about HIFU device approval procedures and issues from the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety. In the final afternoon session, the group heard eight presentations from graduate students and post-doctorates. The meeting also included poster presentations and awards for oral and poster sessions.

The Foundation thanks Dong-guk Paeng, PhD, our Focused Ultrasound Ambassador to Asia, for this meeting report.

After more than 50 years as a NASA safety engineer, Victor Murray has learned to trust science. “My career requires me to find the answers to problems. I was part of the Apollo 13 fix. When something is wrong, there has to be a fix for it.”

ARCSLogoThe Achievement Rewards for College Students (ARCS) Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with a mission is to advance American innovation in science and engineering by providing unrestricted funding to US citizens pursuing advanced degrees in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. By supporting scientists early in their careers, the organization hopes to inspire young scholars to develop research initiatives that will push the envelope of US scientific and medical discovery.

ARCS has awarded more than $115 million to over 10,500 students nationwide. With 15 regional chapters throughout the US, the organization supports the advancement of science and mathematics at some of the nation’s leading research universities, such as University of California San Francisco, University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, and the University of Virginia.

To learn more about this organization and funding opportunities, visit https://www.arcsfoundation.org/.

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