Columbia University Fellow Receives Award for Focused Ultrasound Research


Key Points

  • Matthew Gallitto, MD, a postdoctoral clinical fellow at Columbia University, has received an ASCO Young Investigator Award.
  • He is researching focused ultrasound—induced blood-brain barrier disruption to address diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG).

Matthew Gallitto, MD, a postdoctoral clinical fellow in radiation oncology at Columbia University was one of five oncology trainees at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center to be recognized with a Young Investigator Award. The awards were given by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Dr. Gallitto’s research, entitled “Focused ultrasound-enhanced STAT3 inhibition and radiosensitization for diffuse midline glioma,” involves using focused ultrasound to disrupt the blood-brain barrier to address a devastating pediatric brain tumor – diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG). The goal is to introduce a new approach to treating this disease and also address barriers that prevent optimal drug delivery.

He is the first combined radiation oncology resident and PhD doctoral candidate at Columbia and is being mentored by Cheng-Chia Wu, MD, Elisa Konofagou, PhD, and Zhiguo Zhang, PhD. This fall, he will also begin his PhD studies in Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Studies at Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

“ASCO’s Young Investigator Award will provide me with the support and resources to prepare me for a successful career in clinical oncology and help me establish the use focused ultrasound in the treatment of pediatric cancers,” said Dr. Gallitto. “It is a true honor to work alongside ASCO and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation to usher in this new era of ‘acoustic oncology.'”