2023 Summer Intern Report: Gyasi Priester 


University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, Class of 2026

Rat Brain Tumor Microvascular Ablation

Project Overview 
My project was to read MRI scans taken from experiments to understand what is happening in the images and learn differences between images (e.g., pre-, post-, T1-weighted, T2*-weighted, and more). 

Project Outcomes 
We made discoveries about the use of contrast agents, identified treated areas in rat brains after a treatment combining focused ultrasound and microbubbles for mechanical ablation of brain tumors, and learned that exploring the effects of focused ultrasound on blood vessels should be incorporated into the experimental planning process. 

Why were you initially interested in working with the Foundation? 
My major is radiological science. I felt that the Foundation could improve my knowledge of the technical terms and the understanding of MRI images. 

Describe your experience as an intern. 
The staff is friendly and unbelievably helpful. I felt comfortable, and I always had work to do to keep busy, so I never lost interest. I learned a lot about being remote and working virtually while being able to complete tasks. I realized how global the Focused Ultrasound Foundation is by being able to attend the different workshops. 

What was the most important learning point of your internship experience? 
I am now able to sit in conference rooms with experts who have years of research experience. I can present my work and believe that I belong in the room. I no longer feel nervous or out of place when among experts.  

I want to give a big thank you to Fred Padilla, PhD, who took me every step of the way of my internship. 

How will your accomplishments impact the field of focused ultrasound? 
Understanding the effect of focused ultrasound on brain tissue and brain tumors will make it possible to translate the technology to human patients for precise conformational treatment, sparing non-tumoral tissues. 

What is one tip that you would give 2024 summer interns?  
If you are able to attend the workshops that the Foundation hosts, make sure you take notes.