Sunnybrook and Gairdner Foundation Host Focused Ultrasound Symposium


Sunnybrook Research Institute, the research enterprise of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and the Gairdner Foundation, an organization that recognizes and rewards international excellence in fundamental research that impacts human health, recently hosted a two-day symposium entitled “Changing Medicine Forever” to explore advances in focused ultrasound to treat the brain. Held in Toronto, November 20-21, 2018, the event opened with keynote lectures from TV icon Alan Alda and physicist Brian Greene. On the second day, leading scientists and clinicians discussed the latest in focused ultrasound research and techniques to treat brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, and psychiatric disorders, as well as ways to use focused ultrasound in blood-brain barrier disruption and immunotherapy.

sunnybrook gairdner symposiumThe Focused Ultrasound Foundation helped sponsor the event, and all of the presenters at the conference were researchers that the Foundation supports or has supported through our research awards program. A number of Foundation representatives participated, including Chief Scientific Officer Jessica Foley, PhD, and Director of Operations Emily White, MD. Former Foundation fellow Jean-Francois Aubry, PhD, of the National Centre for Scientific Research and Institut Langevin in France, also gave a talk on single-element transducers for transcranial focused ultrasound.

“It’s really great to see an organization as prestigious as the Gardiner Foundation take an interest in focused ultrasound,” said White. “They have a fantastic track record at sniffing out Nobel Prize winning ideas.”

“Sunnybrook is the only Foundation-designated Center of Excellence in Canada and a clear leader in advancing the use of focused ultrasound in treating disorders of the brain,” added Foley. “Their pioneering work will guide the future direction of this field and will ultimately benefit countless patients not only in Canada but around the world.”