Elisa Konofagou, PhD, Elected to the National Academy of Medicine


Key Points

  • Dr. Konofagou is among the inductees of the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.
  • She is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology at Columbia University.

Elisa KonofagouElisa Konofagou, PhD, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). The NAM cited her “leadership and innovation in ultrasound and other advanced imaging modalities and their application in the clinical management of significant health care problems such as cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer, through licensing to the major imaging companies” in the announcement.

Dr. Konofagou is the Robert and Margaret Hariri Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Radiology at Columbia University. She is also Director of the Ultrasound and Elasticity Imaging Laboratory at Columbia, where her research in focused ultrasound addresses drug delivery, breast cancer treatment, and neuromodulation.

Dr. Konofagou is a pioneer and leading expert in using focused ultrasound for blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening to enable delivery of therapeutics for treating a wide range of neurological disorders. She began a Foundation-funded clinical trial last year investigating focused ultrasound to open the BBB in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and more recently launched another Foundation-funded clinical trial for BBB opening and drug delivery in pediatric patients with diffuse midline glioma (DMG). The Foundation has also funded her research into opening the BBB to deliver anti-alpha synuclein antibodies to the brain in a preclinical Parkinson’s model.

She has participated in several of the Foundation’s webinars, addressing focused ultrasound for central nervous system diseases, opening the BBB, DIPG treatment, and Parkinson’s disease in preclinical models. She has also been a proponent of the Foundation’s Women in Focused Ultrasound initiative and shared her thoughts on the topic in the webinar inspired by the film, “Picture a Scientist.”

See the NAM Class of 2021 >