UK Invests in Creation of FUS Research Network


Gail Ter Haar smA consortium of researchers, led by Gail ter Haar, PhD, has earned a prestigious multi-year government grant to build a research network to advance focused ultrasound across the UK. The initiative has been aptly named ThUNDDAR (Therapeutic Ultrasound for Drug Delivery and Ablation Research), and will be supported by a grant of £675,000 over four years.

“We have quite a few different FUS devices in the UK, and the community is small enough that we can all work together. This initiative was designed to generate a critical mass to effectively cross-fertilize ideas. There are 14 institutions interested, with a broad range of experts – including physicians, engineers, chemists, biologists, and mathematicians,” says Professor ter Haar, Head of the Foundation’s Center of Excellence at the Institute for Cancer Research.

In addition to Prof. ter Haar, the network will be managed by Steven Freear, PhD, engineer at the University of Leeds; Wady Gedroyc, MD, radiologist at St Mary’s Hospital; Nader Saffari, PhD, engineer at University College London and Eleanor Stride, PhD, engineer at Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering.

The group will conduct a series of meetings starting this summer to identify the plan and priorities for funding multi-center projects. They will solicit outside applications and will select to support projects that are innovative and collaborative. “We hope to get something we hadn’t thought of,” remarked ter Haar.

A website will be created for ThUNDDAR to help generate awareness and serve as a hub to build the network and enable collaboration. The initiative needs to demonstrate to the government funders that it is sustainable into the future. So there is discussion about creating a degree course on therapeutic ultrasound that will help to cultivate the next generation and provide ongoing funding.

If you are interested in participating in ThUNDDAR, contact Gail ter Haar.