Focus Feature: 2016 Symposium Highlights



In this report:

We Have Reached the Tipping Point

Videos Now Available

Presentations at a Glance

Briefing Highlights Clinical Research

Grisham Event Creates Excitement

NIH to Require Data Sharing Says Bourne

Words from Award Winners

Young Investigators and Global Interns

ET Patient Attends Symposium

Your Feedback Needed

Thank You & Save the Date for 2018

2016 Symposium: We Have Reached the Tipping Point

The momentum at the Foundation’s 5th International Focused Ultrasound Symposium demonstrates the progression of the technology from a research tool toward a viable clinical treatment. From the record number of investigators attending, to the quantity and quality of clinical trials reported, to the celebration of the first FDA approvals of clinical brain and prostate systems, the meeting ushered in a new era.

The symposium featured more than 200 presentations, including updates on 15 clinical trials. Topics included the use of FUS for movement disorders, psychiatric disorders, brain tumors and other cancers, bone and soft tissue diseases, women’s health, cardiovascular conditions, and emerging applications. More than 400 people attended.

"Four different groups and companies approached me for new collaborations. You know how to get people excited about what is coming next, and have them think about what they can do now to accelerate the transfer to patients.– Symposium Attendee

In addition to the scientific presentations, the symposium hosted several special guests: John Grisham was interviewed on stage by CBS correspondent Chip Reid about his involvement with focused ultrasound and writing The Tumor; Cancer Moonshot Executive Director, Greg Simon inspired the audience to push the potential of FUS; and NIH Data Expert Philip Bourne spoke on the power of data sharing to propel medical breakthroughs. READ MORE >

This Focus Feature provides highlights from the symposium. A complete scientific summary will be available later this year. All symposium abstracts are currently available online

Symposium Videos Now Available

The scientific presentations are now available on our Symposium YouTube channel. Divided by session topic, the videos are each about 5 minutes long and cover the full program.


Scientific Presentations at a Glance: Wide Ranging Progress

The symposium’s scientific presentations demonstrated that significant progress is being made in advancing FUS as a solution in many fields of medicine, utilizing a variety of biomechanisms. Here are some of the highlights:

Brain Disorders

Cancer and Benign Tumors
  • Several preclinical immunotherapy projects are underway in models of pancreatic cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, and renal cancer. Both thermal and mechanical effects of FUS show promise. READ MORE ON CANCER >
Women’s Health
  • Breast fibroadenoma clinical trials have been successful, and circumferential delivery could reduce treatment times. READ MORE ON WOMEN'S HEALTH >

Watch the Briefing >

Briefing Highlights Clinical Research

The Foundation conducted a live and online briefing during the symposium geared toward providing media and patient advocacy groups an opportunity to learn about the latest clinical achievements in the field. The event featured experts addressing FUS treatment of the brain, cancer, bone and soft tissue, and hypertension. Watch the Media Briefing >

Media coverage generated by the symposium briefing included stories on Medical Physics Web and NPR.

Watch the Interview >

Grisham Event Creates Excitement

John Grisham and CBS News correspondent Chip Reid took the stage to discuss John's enthusiasm for FUS and the backstory about his free book, "The Tumor." He explained how the book has two endings because he wanted to convey how scientific progress can truly alter someone’s medical future. Grisham encouraged the audience to continue pushing toward clinical discoveries and then met with the attendees to sign books. WATCH THE VIDEO >

When he is not writing about FUS, John Grisham continues to craft electrifying legal thrillers. Be one of the first to read his next novel, The Whistler, on sale October 25. ORDER YOUR COPY > 

Watch the Presentation >

“After 60 months, only 50% of clinical trials are reported. This sent a wave through the NIH.” 
—Philip E. Bourne, PhD


NIH Grants Will Require Data Sharing Says Bourne

Open science and a culture of sharing are guiding principles of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Philip E. Bourne, PhD, Associate Director of Data Science, presented the history, current initiatives, and future directions for NIH-funded data collection. Creating data repositories, linking scientific findings through cloud computing and common virtual spaces, and pre-printing study results should elevate the value of data and advance scholarship. New data sharing policies will affect the way that research funding grants will be awarded and change how results are shared, reported, and published. WATCH THE VIDEO >

Jessica Foley & Kullervo Hynynen 

Nathan McDannold & Kobi Vortman

Words From 2016 Award Winners

Visionary Award – Kullervo Hynynen, PhD
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Hynynen shared the findings that inspired him to pursue the study of FUS along with the important milestones of his 30-year career. READ MORE >

Ferenc Jolesz Memorial Award – Nathan McDannold, PhD
After accepting the award, Dr. McDannold presented research from his recent project using Insightec’s new low frequency system. READ MORE >

2016 Young Investigators

Thai-son Nguyen

Young Investigators and Global Interns

Congratulations to the 2016 Young Investigators! They are graduate students, research fellows, clinical fellows, and junior faculty members who submitted the highest scored abstracts. The honor accompanies complimentary event registration and a travel stipend. MEET THEM >

Global Intern Award – Thai-son Nguyen
A student at the University of Michigan, Nguyen worked with his mentor, Zhen Xu, PhD, to discover that histotripsy may be used to generate large or targeted lesions close to the skull. LEARN MORE >

Peter Muller (center) with John Grisham and Chip Reid

Peter’s story has been captured by CBS Baltimore.

Essential Tremor Patient Visits Symposium

Just a week after undergoing FUS for his tremor at the University of Maryland, Peter Muller visited the symposium to meet some of the leading researchers in the field and the innovators at Insightec that developed the technology.

Peter is more than a patient himself – he is a hard-working volunteer advocate for all patients. He created HopeNet five years ago to increase awareness and provide support to those affected by essential tremor. READ MORE >

We Want Your Feedback!

Did you like the format of the meeting? Were the presentations valuable? We’re willing to listen! Help us continue to meet the needs of the FUS community. Please complete a brief survey about the presentations, social events, and your overall experience. Your thoughtful responses will help us plan the 2018 meeting. Please complete the survey by October 7th.


Thank you to Honorary Symposium President, Jin Woo Chang, MD, PhD, and the committees, moderators, panelists, sponsors, and exhibitors.

Thank You

The symposium requires extensive preparation and planning. The Foundation is grateful to everyone who worked with us to make this year’s meeting a success.

The organizing committee planned and executed all aspects of the scientific plenary program. The scientific program committee reviewed, scored, and selected the research presented both orally and in posters.

The Honorary Symposium President, Dr. Jin Woo Chang, and the leadership of the session moderators and panelists created meaningful dialog.

And finally, we appreciate the continued support of the sponsors and exhibitors.

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