Centers of Excellence

Established in 2009, the Centers of Excellence program brings together the best people and technical resources at luminary sites. The Centers are created through partnerships of academia, industry, and the Foundation to showcase the technology and serve as hubs for collaboration.

University of Virginia | Charlottesville, VA

The Foundation’s first Center of Excellence was inaugurated at the University of Virginia in September 2009 through a public-private partnership of the Foundation, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the University of Virginia, InSightec, and GE.  Led by James Larner, MD, and Research Director Richard Price, PhD, the Center is a leading site for brain research, having pioneered clinical trials for essential tremor and Parkinsonian tremor, as well as technical and preclinical studies for neurological disorders. The center also conducts cancer research and treats uterine fibroids and bone metastases.

The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden | London, England

In September 2013, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and Philips entered into an innovative public-private collaboration with The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to create a Center at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden in London. The Center created a state-of-the-art resource for clinicians and scientists working on focused ultrasound therapy, developing clinical evidence in oncology, and establishing best practices, treatment standards and protocols. The Center is led by scientific director Gail ter Haar, Professor of Physics at the ICR and clinical director Nandita deSouza, Professor of Translational Imaging at the ICR and Honorary Consultant at The Royal Marsden.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital | Boston, MA

In 2015, Brigham and Women’s Hospital was named a Foundation Center of Excellence. As many as 50 focused ultrasound researchers in three different laboratories span the Boston campus of Brigham and Women’s Hospital where, in conjunction with Harvard Medical School, they are pioneering innovative uses of focused ultrasound and advancing these new approaches from bench to bedside. Read the investigator profile from September 2015 featuring three focused ultrasound leaders at the site > 

Stanford University | Stanford, CA

Directed by Pejman Ghanouni, MD, PhD, and Kim Butts Pauly, PhD, Stanford’s Center was established in 2016 and focuses on a number of clinical and preclinical projects. These include industry-sponsored trials using MRgFUS to treat osseous metastases, uterine fibroids, essential tremor, and prostate cancer, as well as investigator-initiated trials using MRgFUS to treat soft tissue tumors and facet joint arthritis. Preclinical projects have included the development of referenceless methods for MR thermometry in the brain, as well as respiratory-compensated MRgFUS in treatment of porcine liver during free-breathing. These clinical and preclinical projects involve close collaboration with clinical colleagues in Radiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Urology, Pathology, Immunology and Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. Learn more about this site >

The University of Maryland | Baltimore, MD

The Center of Excellence at the University of Maryland was established in 2016. At present, the UMD departments of Neurosurgery, Radiology, and Neurology are collaborating to study treatment of movement disorder, chronic neuropathic pain, brain tumors and the use of enhanced drug delivery. In addition, their studies into immunomodulation range from investigation of cell systems to animal models to human clinical trials. Read the site profile from September 2016 > 

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre | Toronto, Canada

Established as a Center in 2016, the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is conducting research for focused ultrasound in neurology, neurosurgery, urology, orthopedics, gynecology, radiation oncology, and biomedical engineering and have studies planned in the near future for Alzheimer’s, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and others. Read the site profile from November 2016 >

INSERM – LabTAU | Lyon, France

In February 2017, INSERM Unit 1032, the Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound (LabTAU) at the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) was named a Center of Excellence. LabTAU conducts significant translational and clinical research with a multi-disciplinary, highly qualified, and complementary team of physicians and scientists. Co-led by Cyril Lafon, PhD, and Professor Michel Rivoire, MD, PhD, the Center of Excellence has special expertise in commercializing technology and creating strategic interfaces between engineering and medicine. Read the site profile from February 2017 >

Physics for Medicine Paris | Paris, France

In December 2019, Physics for Medicine Paris became the third Center of Excellence in Europe. Led by Director Mickael Tanter, PhD, the site focuses on accelerating the development of new ultrasound-based technologies and plans to foster the translation of their innovative technologies to the clinics with an emphasis on treating cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders. Physics for Medicine Paris will be a technological hub to develop new modalities for ultrasonic guidance, monitoring, and treatment to collaborate with clinicians in Paris and a growing number of companies to improve existing clinical devices. The team also plays a pivotal role in educating young researchers, with the training of many PhD students and the organization of a biennial International Winter School on Therapeutic Ultrasound. The Center of Excellence’s Scientific Director is Jean-François Aubry, PhD, a previous Focused Ultrasound Foundation fellow.  Read the site profile from December 2019 >

Children’s National Hospital | Washington, DC

In September 2020, Children’s National Hospital (CNH) became the first Foundation Center of Excellence focused exclusively on pediatrics. Based in Washington, DC, CNH celebrates 150 years of pediatric care, research, and commitment to community in 2020. Karun Sharma, MD, PhD, director of interventional radiology and associate director of clinical translation at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at CNH, and AeRang Kim, MD, PhD, associate professor of Pediatrics and solid tumors faculty member at CNH, will co-lead the Center. In this effort, Dr. Sharma will work with a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and investigators from radiology, oncology, surgery, orthopedics, neurosurgery, and urology. The Children’s National team has become a leader in the translation of focused ultrasound for treating pediatric solid tumors. They are currently investigating the treatment of malignant solid tumors with focused ultrasound alone and combined with chemotherapy.  Moving forward, the team plans to further explore oncological applications of focused ultrasound, particularly to augment chemotherapy and immunotherapy for hard-to-treat pediatric cancers. Read the research site profile from September 2020 >

University Medical Center Utrecht | Utrecht, Netherlands

In January 2021, the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) became the fourth site to be designated a Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence in Europe and the tenth worldwide. The site has been recognized for their innovative vision and for increasing the synergy among image-guided therapies – incorporating focused ultrasound, nuclear medicine, radiotherapy, radiology, and oncology into a single division. The team at UMC Utrecht is currently using focused ultrasound to treat bone metastases, breast cancer, and uterine fibroids. They are also exploring focused ultrasound for targeted drug delivery, immunomodulation, and opening the blood-brain barrier.

Focused Ultrasound Foundation's Centers of Excellence