Press Releases

von Eschenbach Joins Foundation Board


Former head of FDA and National Cancer Institute, Andrew von Eschenbach, joins board of Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (August 4, 2010) – Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., a thought leader and healthcare visionary of international stature, has become the newest member of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Elected at the Board’s August 4 meeting, von Eschenbach has the distinction of being the only person to have led both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. In 2006, Time magazine named him one of the “100 most influential people to shape the world.”

During his tenure as FDA Commissioner from 2005 to 2009, von Eschenbach focused on modernizing the agency, emphasizing innovation and enhancing its ability to protect and promote public health. At the National Cancer Institute, where he served as Director from 2001 to 2005, he sought to accelerate and integrate the discovery-development-delivery continuum to eliminate suffering and death due to cancer. Von Eschenbach also took steps to ensure that emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics were used in developing new cancer treatments.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. von Eschenbach to our Board of Directors,” said Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, M.D. “His long-standing commitment to serving the public good by accelerating the availability of innovative medical treatments is well matched to the mission and goals of this organization. We look forward to benefitting from his vast experience, transformative perspective and eminent leadership.”

Stressing his support for the Foundation’s work, von Eschenbach said that he looked forward to helping it “achieve its goals and bring new noninvasive therapies to patients.”

“Like the Foundation,” he added, “I am committed to accelerating the development and adoption of innovative treatments that save and improve lives.”

Before entering public service, Dr. von Eschenbach was affiliated with the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston. His leadership positions there included Chair of the Department of Urology, founding Director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program, director of the Genitourinary Cancer Center and Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer.

He served as president of the American Cancer Society and was a founding member of the National Dialog on Cancer. In addition to the recognition ne received from Time, he was selected in both 2007 and 2008 as one of the Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician’s “50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Healthcare.”

A cancer survivor himself, von Eschenbach says that it was his father’s prostate cancer that drove him in the early years of his work.  Since then he has written 300 scientific articles and publications, burnishing his reputation as a cancer researcher and clinician.

Currently he serves as Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Health Transformation and as an Adjunct Professor at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

About the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation
Founded in 2006 and based in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation is dedicated to accelerating research and development of patient treatments using one of today’s most revolutionary and promising medical technologies: noninvasive Magnetic Resonance-Guided Focused Ultrasound (FUS). The Foundation’s work is motivated by the belief that FUS treatments could become the ultimate in noninvasive surgery, serve as a viable alternative to radiation therapy and offer a new platform for precise drug delivery – applications with the potential to alleviate suffering, save lives and quicken recovery times for millions of patients worldwide.

By promoting communication, collaboration and coordination, the Foundation has become a vital nexus for researchers, clinicians, manufacturers, philanthropists and other stakeholders in the FUS arena. The Foundation is funding translational and clinical research, providing fellowships for training physicians and scientists, hosting symposia and workshops, maintaining online informational resources and establishing FUS Centers of Excellence. Complete information about the Foundation and its work can be found at

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