Chrit Moonen, PhD, Joins Foundation as Scientific Programs Director


Key Points

  •  A leader in focused ultrasound research for nearly 30 years, Prof. Moonen previously led the Division of Imaging at University Medical Center in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
  • In his new role, he will be responsible for managing the Foundation’s internal projects and external research funding process.
Chrit Moonen, PhD

A fixture in focused ultrasound research for nearly 30 years, Chrit Moonen, PhD, has joined the Foundation as Scientific Programs Director. In this role, Prof. Moonen will be responsible for managing the Foundation’s internal projects and external research funding process.

Prof. Moonen first began working in the field of therapeutic ultrasound in 1995 when he led the In Vivo NMR Research Center at the National Institutes of Health. The next year, he moved to Bordeaux, France, where he was director of the Molecular and Functional Imaging Laboratory at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). There, he continued to work on technological developments of MRI-guided focused ultrasound with the goal of translating laboratory research to clinical applications. His laboratory closely collaborated with Philips during the development of the Sonalleve platform, and he helped create Image Guided Therapy, a focused ultrasound company.

In 2011, Prof. Moonen moved to the University Medical Center (UMC) in Utrecht, the Netherlands, where he was professor in the Division of Imaging. At UMC Utrecht, he participated in the ongoing Phase III clinical trial on pain palliation of bone metastases, the breast cancer ablation Phase 1 clinical trial, and the design of the upcoming Phase I clinical trial of histotripsy in combination with immunotherapy. Under his leadership, UMC Utrecht became the tenth focused ultrasound Center of Excellence.

Last year, Prof. Moonen left his position at UMC Utrecht after reaching the mandatory retirement age in the Netherlands, but he continues to advise on some of his therapeutic ultrasound research projects on a voluntary basis.

“The Foundation has played a crucial role in stimulating research and development in therapeutic ultrasound, its clinical applications, and its adoption in the clinic, in general, and for me personally,” said Prof. Moonen. “It is an honor for me to use my expertise to contribute to the objectives of the Foundation in this new position.”

Prof. Moonen has served as president of three professional organizations: the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, the Society of Molecular Imaging, and the European Society for Molecular Imaging. He has coauthored more than 250 scientific papers.

He completed his master’s degree in molecular sciences and his PhD in biophysics at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

“Chrit has been a valued colleague and friend for many years, and we are pleased to welcome him as the latest member of the team,” said Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. “In the pantheon of giants in the field of therapeutic ultrasound, Chrit is among the most prominent. He has witnessed and been a key factor in the field’s growth from the laboratory to clinical practice to commercialization.”