Welcome to the first FUSF newsletter of 2010. As this month's stories indicate, the Foundation continues to attract strong leadership and support. We welcome the newest member of our Board of Directors, Lodewijk de Vink, who has an extensive background in theglobal pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. We also welcome the Honorable Nicholas Taubman, a former US Ambassador and Fortune 500 CEO, to our Foundation Council.
The pace of activities at the Foundation continues to accelerate. In this issue, you will read about the latest developments at our first FUS Center of Excellence at the University of Virginia, the disbursement milestone that our Research Awards Program is fast-approaching and the scientific contributions of FUSF fellowship recipient, Dr. Thilo Hoelscher. We also provide a planning update for the 2nd International Symposium on MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound, which the Foundation is hosting in October.
As always, all that the FUSF accomplishes is made possible by the generosity and support of our donors. In this issue, you'll read about the third annual FUSF dinner hosted by David and Diane Heller as well as a note from Tom and Nancy Chewing about their decision to support the Research Awards Program.
Global healthcare leader Lodewijk de Vink elected to FUSF Board of Directors
Lodewijk J.R. de Vink, an internationally-known leader in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, was elected to the FUSF Board of Directors at its January 26 meeting. He will serve a term of three years.
Highlights of de Vink's experience include his work as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Warner-Lambert Company, President of Schering International, and board member of Roche Holdings A.G.
“We welcome Lodewijk to the Board and deeply value his experience and expertise,” says Neal F. Kassell, M.D., FUSF Chairman. “His extensive knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry and his stature in the international healthcare market will be crucial in our efforts to establish focused ultrasound as a platform for drug delivery.”
The FUSF has disbursed more than $1 million in research awards through its Research Award Program and is making more funding available in 2010. Eleven awards – each worth approximately $100,000 – have been disbursed to date. According to Hannah Edelen, FUSF Director of Research and Fellowship Administration, five of the funded projects are complete and 80 percent of them have yielded published results and/or attracted follow-on funding from other organizations, excellent indicators of success.
Foundation sponsors new FUS speakers’ series at UVA
Center of Excellence Update
The Departments of Radiation Oncology and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia Health System launched a new FUS speakers’ series in January funded by the FUSF. Chandan Guha, M.D., PhD, a world-class expert in tumor vaccines, discussed experiments in which he used both low and high intensity focused ultrasound to stimulate different immunologic responses that could enhance cancer treatment.
Thilo Hoelscher, M.D. exploring use of FUS to treat ischemic stroke
Trained as a neurologist, Thilo Hoelscher, M.D., has travelled a long way from his native Germany and his early clinical experiences at that country’s first stroke unit. Now an assistant professor in the Departments of Radiology and Neurosciences at the University of California San Diego, he is Director of its Brain Ultrasound Research Laboratory and once again on the forefront of medicine.
Hoelscher, who received a FUSF fellowship in 2009, expects to begin pilot clinical trials in 2011 using FUS to treat ischemic stroke and believes success is inevitable.
During a recent visit to Charlottesville, Thilo Hoelscher (second from right) visited the new Focused Ultrasound Center at the University of Virginia Health System. Accompanying him on the tour of the center’s computer room (from left to right) were Stephen Monteith, M.D. and members of the FUSF Brain Program team Eben Alexander, John Snell and Matt Eames.
“Once it is approved for use in patients, FUS will be without equal – it will have no competition. In treating ischemic stroke, for example, it will dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow within seconds. Drugs like tPA won’t be necessary,” he says.
Honorary President and Scientific Program Committee Named for 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound
Key selections have been made for the FUSF’s 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound scheduled for October 17-20, 2010 at the Westfields Marriott near Washington, D.C.
Serving as Honorary President for the Symposium is Kullervo Hynynen, Ph.D., Canada Research Chair in Imaging Systems and Image-Guided Therapy (Tier 1), Professor, Dept. of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Director and Senior Scientist, Discipline of Imaging Research and Director of the Centre for Research in Image-Guided Therapeutics, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto.
Leading the Scientific Program Committee are co-chairs Mickaël Tanter, Ph.D., Research Director of the French Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and Brad Wood, M.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health Center for Interventional Oncology and Chief, Interventional Radiology Section.
Members of the Scientific Program Committee are:
Linda Bradley, M.D., FACOG, Director, Center for Menstrual Disorders, Fibroids and Hysteroscopic Services, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics;
Keyvan Farahani, Ph.D., Acting Chief, Image Guided Interventions Branch, Cancer Imaging Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, National Cancer Institute;
Katherine W. Ferrara, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis;
James Larner, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Virginia Health System and Director of UVA's Focused Ultrasound Center;
Joy M. Polefrone, Ph.D., FUS-mediated Targeted Drug Delivery Program Director, Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation
Third annual Heller Dinner draws record attendance
Thanks to the generosity of two of the Foundation’s earliest philanthropic champions, David and Diane Heller, members of the FUS research and development community had a special opportunity to connect and converse during the recent Radiologic Society of North America (RSNA) meeting in Chicago. For the third year, the Hellers forwarded the Foundation’s goal of fostering collaboration and communication by hosting a dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab restaurant. This year’s event drew a record number of representatives from academia and industry.
As FUSF Chairman, Neal F. Kassell, M.D., observed, “David and Diane’s support provided the cornerstone to establish the Foundation. Their commitment to our vision has been unwavering. We thank them for hosting this wonderful dinner and making it possible for so many FUS stakeholders to spend time together in this delightful and informal way. The conversations and connections initiated over dinner will undoubtedly step up the pace of FUS research and development.”
A note from Tom and Nancy Chewning, donors to Research Awards Program
“… When we met with Dr. Kassell, what we heard was so powerful and compelling that we simply had to respond. But, we wondered how we could help when we didn’t have the financial resources that could really ‘move the needle.’
“The answer came during a meeting with Foundation Board member, John Grisham. We learned that the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation had made $100,000 grants to support clinical trials throughout the country and that there was a great need to expand the number of trials. We could make our contribution to this exciting effort by funding one grant...
Former Ambassador, Fortune 500 CEO Nicholas F. Taubman becomes a Charter Member of FUSF Council
A businessman, philanthropist and statesman, the Honorable Nicholas Frank Taubman, has become a Charter Member of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation Council. Taubman served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advance Auto Parts from 1969 to 2005, when he became the 42nd U.S. Ambassador to Romania. He is now president of Mozart Investments.
“We are proud and excited to have Ambassador Taubman join the Council. His experience as a diplomat and business leader will add an important dimension to our work,” notes Dorothy Batten, a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the Council.
Matt Eames, PhD, has joined the Foundation as Brain Program Senior Project Engineer, a new position. Tina Krall has joined Fibroid Relief, and Ellen McKenna, MBA, has become the Foundation’s Director of Communications.