Kassell Briefs Lawmakers on UVA Center of Excellence Accomplishments


On February 1, 2013, Focused Ultrasound Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, MD briefed members of the Allied Health Caucus, a bipartisan group of Virginia lawmakers who meet weekly to discuss health issues. Kassell opened his remarks with an overview of focused ultrasound technology and of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. He then provided a status report for the University of Virginia (UVA) Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence, a facility funded by a public/private partnership involving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Foundation, UVA and device-maker InSightec Ltd.

Research Accomplishments

Kassell said that the UVA Center, which was dedicated in September 2009, has quickly distinguished itself as a leading focused ultrasound research site and offered the following summary:


● 60+ clinicians and scientists from 12 UVA departments


● Preclinical studies: brain, liver, arthritis

● Clinical trials: Essential Tremor (1st in world study)
and Parkinson’s disease (1st in U.S. study)


● $5.9 million received
● $20.6 million pending


● 13 publications by 31 unique authors from seven different departments

Other Success Indicators

● 37 patients treated to date in clinical trials; 2 commercial treatments of uterine fibroid patients
8,000+ patient self-referrals


● 51 students trained, including undergraduate and graduate students, medical residents and fellows

● 42 students completed FUS research projects
FUS lecture series established
● 22 FUS-related jobs created


● Recognition by Virginia House of Delegates in  February 2012

● Distinguished guests have included Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell,
Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources William Hazel,
Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William Howell and U.S. Senator Mark Warner


● Dozens of domestic and international online, print and broadcast media outlets
have covered the Essential Tremor Pilot Study and other focused ultrasound research at UVA.

Image shows Del. David Toscano, Del. Rosalyn Dance, Neal Kassell, MD and Del. T. Scott Garrett.