Press Releases

Harvard Brain Researcher Receives Funding Award from Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (August 10, 2011) – The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation has announced its latest Research Award recipient is Nathan McDannold, PhD. The $112,002 award will support McDannold’s efforts to increase the regions in the brain that can be safely targeted by MR-guided focused ultrasound, an innovative, noninvasive medical technology being championed by the Foundation.

“We hope to increase the number of patients with brain tumors or other central nervous system diseases that can be treated with focused ultrasound instead of having to undergo surgery or other invasive procedures,” explains McDannold, who heads the Focused Ultrasound Laboratory in the Department of Radiology at Harvard Medical School.

Recognized as a pioneer in the field of therapeutic ultrasound, McDannold is exploring a new approach to destroying diseased brain tissue without the need for surgical incisions. The method uses microbubbles and low-frequency focused ultrasound. “We aim to show that this approach can ablate tissue with less energy and does not damage non-targeted areas or cause delayed effects,” he explains.

The project is in its preclinical phase, and McDannold’s co-investigator is Margaret Livingstone, PhD, a professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.

About the FUS Foundation’s Research Awards Program
Since its inception in September 2007, the FUS Foundation’s Research Awards Program has filled a funding void for MR-guided focused ultrasound researchers by providing “seed money” for highly promising studies. Funding enables researchers to compile the preliminary data needed to apply for the more substantial grants – from government agencies and other sources— needed to move their work toward clinical reality.

An independent and multidisciplinary Research Advisory Committee reviews proposals received by the FUS Foundation, which bases funding decisions on a project’s ability to rapidly advance the development of reimbursable clinical indications of MR-guided focused ultrasound.

The FUS Foundation accepts and reviews Research Award applications (abstracts) on a rolling basis. Applicants who are invited to develop their abstract into a full proposal have a quarterly deadline for submitting their materials. The next quarterly deadline is October 1, with funding decisions to be announced by January 3, 2012.

Complete information about the FUS Foundation’s Research Awards Program is available online at

About the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation
Driven by the desire to save lives, alleviate suffering and prevent disability, the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation is devoted to advancing one of modern medicine’s most promising and game-changing technologies, noninvasive magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (FUS).

Founded in 2006 and based in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Foundation is a high-performance, not-for-profit organization with global reach and an entrepreneurial spirit. To accelerate the availability and reimbursement of FUS treatments, we host symposia and workshops, fund research and fellowships, support the establishment of FUS Centers of Excellence, promote patient awareness and education, and serve as the nexus of a collaborative research network consisting of sites and investigators around the world. Our work is made possible by contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations.  For complete information, visit

Media Contact:
Ellen C. McKenna