Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin Visits the Foundation


Key Points

  • Governor Youngkin learned about focused ultrasound and how Virginia is advancing the field.
  • The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech are leading the state in research for a variety of disorders and veterinary applications. 

Glenn Youngkin, the 74th governor of Virginia, visited the Foundation offices earlier this month to learn about focused ultrasound technology and how the state is advancing the field.

Governor Youngkin met with Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD, representatives from the University of Virginia (UVA), and donors. He listened to a presentation by Dr. Kassell about the current state of the technology and the significant role that the state has played in research and development.

“This meeting was a great opportunity for the governor to learn about the latest developments in focused ultrasound and for us to share what we feel are the next big things happening in the field,” said Dr. Kassell. “Virginia has become a hub for focused ultrasound research, and this is in large part due to support from the state government.”

In 2009, a Center of Excellence was established at UVA through a partnership comprising the University, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, and device manufacturers. The UVA Center participated in the first clinical trials investigating focused ultrasound to address essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease, and these treatments – which are now FDA approved – are impacting lives across the world. The team at UVA is also pioneering focused ultrasound for breast cancer, epilepsy, and exploring the technology in combination with cancer immunotherapies.

Additionally, in recent years, Virginia Tech (VT) has developed a robust focused ultrasound program to further research in neurological indications, such as adult and pediatric brain tumors, neuropathic pain, anxiety, and addiction. The VT team is also exploring focused ultrasound in the veterinary space, treating a variety of tumors in companion animals, including those in the liver and bones, as well as osteosarcomas and lipomas. This work is in collaboration with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

Since 2009, the Commonwealth has generously supported focused ultrasound research. Thanks to this support, hundreds of patients have benefited from the life-changing treatments, and hundreds of jobs have been created to attract the best and brightest innovators in this emerging biomedical field to the state.