(ON LEAVE THROUGH OCTOBER 2018 – contact Wes Myhre) Rachel Berry works to enhance the Foundation's numerous awareness efforts as Communications Manager. Previously, Rachel worked as Development Associate for the Foundation in 2010 and left to join the alumni relations team at St. Anne's-Belfield School in Charlottesville. She returned in 2012 to join the communications team. Rachel graduated from the University of Virginia in December 2009 with a BA in English.
Justine Atkinson joined the Foundation in June 2013. As a member of the Communications team, she is responsible for various writing, media, and external communications projects. She also serves as the Executive Director of Fibroid Relief, the Foundation’s uterine fibroid patient education organization. Previously, Justine worked for 15 years at the Washington, DC, public relations agency Ketchum, where she was a Vice President and Group Manager for their Healthcare practice, managing multi-million dollar accounts for various pharmaceutical and women’s health clients. She graduated with distinction from James Madison University with a double major in English and Human Communication.
Information Development Specialist
Laura Breeden previously worked at the Foundation in 2007, as Administrative Associate. She returned in May 2017 as Information Development Specialist, working to support fundraising and stewardship initiatives. Laura currently serves on the board at Kingswood Christian Preschool. Laura graduated from Mary Baldwin University with a Bachelor of Arts in Health Care Administration.
Director of Extramural Research
Matt Eames, PhD, joined the Foundation in December 2009. As the Director of Extramural Research, Dr. Eames manages the Foundation’s External Awards Program – an investigator-initiated and peer-reviewed research funding track – and provides support to the Foundation’s technical, pre-clinical, and clinical trial Internal Awards Programs. His research experience in ultrasound physics and transducer design and evaluation allows him to form collaborative relationships with members of the ultrasound industry and research communities who share a common interest in advancing the Foundation's research programs. Dr. Eames earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University and his PhD from the University of Virginia, both in Biomedical Engineering.
Chief Scientific Officer
Jessica Foley, PhD joined the Foundation in 2012 after a more than 11-year career in the field of focused ultrasound that spanned academic, industrial and government worlds. As Chief Scientific Officer, Foley guides the strategy, development, and implementation of the scientific and research programs and activities within the Foundation, and aligns these with communications and development efforts. She also leads alliance-building efforts with external stakeholders including (but not limited to) governmental policymakers, regulatory agencies, and disease-specific foundations whose interests are complementary to those of the Foundation. She is a representative and advocate for the Foundation and the focused ultrasound community among a wide variety of stakeholders. Her experience prior to the Foundation included several years with InSightec as the Neuro Projects Manager and Clinical Marketing Manager; Senior Scientist at Medtronic; and serving as a 2011-2012 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation. She holds a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a PhD in Bioengineering (emphasis in focused ultrasound) from the University of Washington. Dr. Foley has numerous publications, patents, and presentations at academic conferences in the field of focused ultrasound.
Director of Finance
Sara Horton, as the Director of Finance, brings over 15 years of financial management and leadership to the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation in July 2009, Sara was the Director of Finance of a non-profit organization in Northern Virginia. Sara is responsible for the Foundation’s fiscal management and organizational compliance. With Sara’s diversified experience, she also provides oversight and guidance for the Foundations contractual obligations. She holds a BA in Business Management from the University of South Carolina.
Director of Clinical Trials Coordination
Robin Jones joined the Foundation in August 2009 as Director of Clinical Trials Coordination. Robin’s 11 years of clinical research experience includes project startup for global studies, corporate training and instructional design, site monitoring, investigative site support, and essential document review. Prior to joining the Foundation, Robin worked as a Manager of Clinical Operations for PRA International, a Contract Research Organization.
Dr. Kassell is the founder and chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and former Co-Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia. He has published more than 500 scientific papers and book chapters, and his research has been supported by over $30 million in NIH and industry grants and contracts. A member of numerous medical societies in the United States and abroad, he has served on many standing and ad hoc committees of the National Institutes of Health and in an editorial capacity for a variety of academic journals. In April 2016, he was named to the Blue Ribbon Panel of Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Dr. Kassell is a founder of numerous private ventures including Interax, Inc.; the Virginia Neurological Institute; Multimedia Medical Systems, Inc.; the Neuroclinical Trials Center; the NeuroVenture Fund; and MedSpecialists.net. He has served on a number of corporate and not-for-profit boards, including Eclypsis Corporation; INC Research; the Prostate Cancer Foundation; InSightec, Ltd.; the Expedition Trust Company; Tuesday Evening Concert Series and Virginia National Bank, and is currently a director of the La Gesse Foundation and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. He is a shareholder in Insightec, Ltd., where he also served on the board until 2012. Dr. Kassell received his undergraduate and medical education at the University of Pennsylvania.
Chief Medical Officer
As the Chief Medical Officer, Suzanne LeBlang, MD, represents the Foundation at conferences and major events, keeps abreast of the progress of clinical studies, ensures medical accuracy of Foundation communications, and directs patient inquiries. She has over 10 years of clinical experience performing focused ultrasound treatments on uterine fibroids and bone metastases and serves as Neuroradiologist and Medical Director of MR Guided Focused Ultrasound at the University MRI & Diagnostic Imaging Centers in Boca Raton, FL. She has published papers and delivered numerous scientific talks in the field of focused ultrasound. Suzanne received her B.A. in Biology and M.D. degree from the University of Miami 6 year Honor’s Program in Medical Education. She serves on the faculty at the University of Miami Medical School where she is the Radiology Clinical Coordinator for the 3rd year M.D./M.P.H. students, and she teaches at the Florida Atlantic University Schmidt College of Medicine. She has been visiting faculty at several institutions including Harvard University and Ohio State University.
Jessica joined the Foundation as a Development Officer in January 2017, working to steward relationships with existing donors, and introduce new supporters to the Foundation’s mission. She gained valuable healthcare development and communications experience through roles with ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and University of Virginia Health System. Jessica is a member of the Junior League of Charlottesville. She graduated from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Spanish.
Chief Medical Officer
Tim Meakem, MD, joined the Foundation in 2016 as Chief Medical Officer. He helps cultivate relationships with key physicians and health system leaders as well as oversees the growing number of research projects the Foundation is supporting at leading academic research institutions around the world. Prior to joining the Foundation, Tim was also the CEO of a contract research organization and then the CMO of a medical device company. His background includes leadership positions in anesthesia that included private practice and teaching at the University of Virginia. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biology at Bowdoin College followed by graduation from the UVA School of Medicine.
Director of Technology
David Moore joined the Foundation in 2006 and currently serves on the Foundation’s Brain Program team, conducting and facilitating research with external sites on focused ultrasound projects dedicated to solving brain disorders. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado and his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia and has worked in both industry and academia on medical software and biomedical research.
Sara Myhre works to keep tasks and deliverables on special projects flowing smoothly at the Foundation. Her efforts include assisting with the adoption and set up of new projects for both Communications and Development, as well as providing support for the Director and Business and Operations Managers. She was the Managing Editor of John Grisham’s short book, The Tumor, which began distribution in the fall of 2015. Sara earned her BS in Architecture from the University of Virginia in 1992 and master's degrees in both architecture and landscape architecture from UVA in 1996. She was a Landscape Architect for 18 years before joining the Foundation in the summer of 2015.
Wes Myhre joined the Foundation in April 2017. Wes works on the Communications team, focusing on social media and press relations. He is also a member of the Development team, contributing to grant-writing and co-funding efforts. Previously, Wes was in development and communications at Charlottesville’s Legal Aid Justice Center, where he now volunteers as an advisory council member. Prior to that, he was Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at UVA’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. Wes earned a BA in English from UC Santa Barbara, and an MA from the University of Virginia.
Latibe Seidou joined the Foundation in 2017 after 10 years working for AASA, the School Superintendents Association, an education non-profit organization in Northern Virginia. She works closely with the Chairman, providing administrative assistance while also supporting the development department and the Business Operations Manager. Latibe received an associates degree as a bilingual executive assistant and is fluent in French.
Director of External Affairs
Having been involved with the Foundation in a volunteer capacity since 2013, Nora stepped into her current role as Director of External Affairs in January 2015. She brings with her extensive development experience at the Montpelier Foundation, her alma mater St. Anne’s-Belfield School, and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Nora currently serves on the boards of the Piedmont Environment Council and the Charlottesville Albemarle Transportation Coalition and is an active member of the Albemarle Garden Club and the Contemporary Club of Albemarle. She is a 1999 graduate of the University of Richmond where she majored in English Literature with a minor in Art History.
Mary Rose Serafini joined the Foundation in April 2008 as Business Manager. She brings a variety of work experiences in nonprofits, for-profits, and a Federally Funded Research and Development Center. She manages the business operations of the Foundation, encompassing finance and budgeting, human resources, project management processes, and facilities. As Business Manager, she ensures the establishment and continuous improvement of systems, processes, and policies that support a dynamic, entrepreneurial organization where flexibility and fluidity are critical.
Technical Director – Brain Program
John Snell, PhD is the Technical Director of the FUS Foundation's Brain Program, joining the Foundation in October 2009. He received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1994 and brings a depth of academic and commercial experience in the areas of medical image analysis, neurosurgical planning, surgical navigation, radiation therapy and radiosurgery planning. Dr. Snell has served on the faculty of the University of Virginia Neurological Surgery Department and has made contributions to commercial medical device development with several companies including Multimedia Medical Systems, Medical Numerics and Varian Medical Systems. John is responsible for the definition and coordination of Brain Program technical research projects as well as providing engineering support to participating research sites.
Scientific Programs Manager
Kelsie Timbie, PhD joined the Foundation in 2015. As the Scientific Programs Manager, she is responsible for developing and guiding research projects that address critical unmet needs and will further the Foundation’s mission of widespread clinical adoption of this technology. She is involved in managing the research portfolios of the Cancer Immunotherapy and Brain Programs here at the Foundation, as her extensive research experience in brain and cancer applications for focused ultrasound provides her with particular insight in these areas. Kelsie earned her BS in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University and her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Director of Global Relations
Diana Villalobos joined the Foundation in April 2017 as the Director of Global Relations. She supports Foundation efforts across the entire spectrum of stakeholders by serving as a liaison between Foundation leadership and the focused ultrasound global research community. She is responsible for the annual State of the Field Report and is lead project manager on the Foundation's new patient registry initiative. Diana is a seasoned clinical research and drug development professional with more than 20 years of experience, including seven years working in Europe and Canada for a Contract Research Organization. Her area of expertise includes operations management, strategic and organizational planning; and sponsor relationship management. Diana holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Old Dominion University.
Director of Operations
Emily White, MD joined the Foundation in 2016 as Director of Operations. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. White was a private consultant working in operations and business development support in the healthcare and medical start-up space. Her clients have included everything from a 4,000+ employee, publically traded, health care company to a brand new start-up with two employees. Her background includes training in general surgery, leadership positions in several highly technical start-up companies with federal clients, non-profit executive management and over 25 years of grant writing experience. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology & Anthropology at Smith College, holds certification for Community Conflict Resolution from Loyola Law School, and is a University of Virginia School of Medicine graduate.
Chief Financial Officer
Kurt Woerpel, M.S., C.P.A., joined the Foundation in 2013 as its Chief Financial Officer. He has extensive business experience serving both start-up and established companies as CFO including twenty-one years at Carden Jennings Publishing, ten years at ScholarOne (sold to Thomson Reuters) and five years at Potomac Supply Corporation. He has been a licensed CPA in Virginia since 1992 and received both his M.S. in Accounting and B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce.