2022 Research Scholar: Yi-Hsiu Chen


National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University/ Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, Class of 2024

Overview & Outcomes
During my time at the Foundation, I observed preclinical research and clinical treatments for the application of focused ultrasound for neurological diseases (e.g., essential tremor, tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy) and more.

I was able to talk with researchers in the field, such as Drs. Wilson Miller, Nathan Fountain, Craig Meyer, and Vibhor Krishina. I also observed essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease treatments by Dr. Jeff Elias and Dr. Shayan Moosa at the University of Virginia (UVA) and by Dr. Paul Fishman at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Finally, I observed a preclinical study at UVA that was being conducted by Victoria Brezet, a student in Dr. Richard Price’s laboratory.

Why were you initially interested in working with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation?
Focused ultrasound is a disruptive medical technology, and the field is thriving in recent years. It will become a promising treatment because it can be applied to so many indications. Therefore, many preclinical and clinical research studies are beginning around the world. In Taiwan, Taipei Veterans General Hospital conducted a Phase I clinical trial of focused ultrasound on epilepsy using the NaviFUS system and a Phase II clinical trial is ongoing. Furthermore, at the end of October 2022, the site received its Insightec machine, and we are going to perform the treatment and clinical trials in Taiwan. Before starting our treatments and clinical trials, I was able to learn more about both research and clinical experiences from the Foundation and its partners.

What was the most important learning point of your experience?
The most important learning point must be the observation of clinical treatments. It’s quite impressive to observe a treatment, especially one conducted by different physicians. It is informative to know about different opinions from different physicians and the detailed nuances of the devices. When I go back Taiwan, we are going to figure out our own.

How will your accomplishments impact the field of focused ultrasound?
We are going to do more research in Taiwan using focused ultrasound. My time at the Foundation gave me a broader view of the field, and hopefully it will help inspire our research and encourage cooperation with the researchers in the US, making it multi-center research.