FUSF's First Center of Excellence Is Making a Mark on Focused Ultrasound Field


The FUS Foundation’s Center of Excellence Program is preparing to expand. Our next designated site will soon be announced and embody the same multi-disciplinary, collaborative approach and commitment to pushing the R&D envelope as found at our first Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence, which celebrated its second anniversary this month.

Located at the University of Virginia, the center is already making its mark on the focused ultrasound field. As Richard Price, PhD, the center’s Research Director, explains, “To date, our most significant advance has been the early success of the world’s first clinical trial for essential tremor, which is being led by W. Jeff Elias, MD. It is certainly our most visible project and has the potential to change the lives of thousands of patients every year.”

Price says the preclinical studies on intracerebral hemorrhage being led by Stephen Monteith, MD are also highly significant. “I expect translation of this work to clinical trials will represent another milestone for the center,” he notes. “I am hopeful that clinical trials for treating brain metastases are also on the horizon. There are a host of other projects that I hope to see translate to the clinic in the 2-10 year window.”

Price estimates that there are 20 studies related to ultrasound therapy that are planned or underway at UVA. “The number of people working on these projects is on the order of 50, but probably more,” he adds.

The UVA Center celebrated its second anniversary by hosting an evening symposium on September 8. The event provided updates on preclinical and clinical projects and gave prospective researchers an opportunity to present their ideas.

According to Price, the symposium helped spark added enthusiasm within the UVA community. “Enthusiasm is really beginning to build. Scientists are naturally, and with good reason, critical when it comes to new hypotheses, findings, and technologies. Thus, it can take time to persuade them that something like MR-guided focused ultrasound has so much potential,” he explains. “I can see that we are rounding that turn and many more people are contacting me about the technology and what it can do for their research and/or practice.”