Meet the Experts
The field of focused ultrasound is expanding rapidly, as researchers widen the scope of possibilities, clinicians treat more patients, manufacturers develop new uses, and sites begin more clinical trials. To keep up with the fast pace of progress, the Foundation works to profile those pioneering a path forward.
Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD
An early adopter of focused ultrasound, neurosurgeon Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD is looking to bring non-invasive solutions to patients as quickly and as safely as possible. He intends to lead the way by collaborating with experts in neurodegenerative disease, psychiatric disorders, and oncology. This approach led him and his team at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto to become the first to use focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier in a patient with Alzheimer’s disease.
Read his investigator profile from May 2017.
Kathy Ferrara, PhD
Katherine W. Ferrara, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis and the Director of their Center for Content Rich Evaluation of Therapeutic Efficacy. She also serves on the Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee and has contributed as faculty during our biennial Symposium.
Read her investigator profile from April 2017.
INSERM - Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound (LabTAU)
LabTAU is located within a large medical and research community and conducts significant translational and clinical research with a multi-disciplinary, highly qualified, and integrated team of physicians and scientists. The Center has many years of experience in commercializing technology and creating strategic interfaces between engineering and medicine.
Read the site profile from February 2017.
Suzanne LeBlang, MD | Fibroid Education Center, Boca Raton, FL
Suzanne LeBlang, MD, or “Dr. Susie” as she is referred to at the Fibroid Education Center, has been an important member of the focused ultrasound community having published papers, delivered numerous scientific talks, and trained many practitioners. She also serves as a Co-Chief Medical Officer of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the Medical Director for the Fibroid Education Center.
Read her clinician profile from January 2017.
Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) is a new center located in a remote area of Canada that is already contributing to the field of focused ultrasound in the region and around the world. The Regional Health Sciences Centre created the research institute as a joint venture to help advance its academic research mandate and strengthen its role as a leader in healthcare innovation and delivery.
Read the research site profile from December 2016.
Located in Toronto, Sunnybrook 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. In November 2016, Sunnybrook was named a Foundation Center of Excellence.
In recognition of their leadership in advancing focused ultrasound research for the brain, the Foundation is pleased to designate the University of Maryland as a Center of Excellence.The Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, Howard Eisenberg, MD, and Chair of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Elias Melhem, MD, are managing a comprehensive bench-to-bedside program expanding the technology’s neurosurgical capabilities as well as innovating new methods for delivering therapies to the brain.
Read the research site profile from September 2016.
Cyril Lafon, PhD, joins the Foundation as the 2016-2017 Richard Merkin Visiting Fellow. Dr. Lafon is the Director of LabTAU, a research laboratory of INSERM – the French National Institutes of Health – located in Lyon. Dr. Lafon co-founded Carthera, the maker of the Sonocloud implanted pulsed focused ultrasound device that opens the blood-brain barrier. He sits on the board of the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU), is Vice President of the French Society of Biomedical Engineering (SFGBM), and is Associate Editor for the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound.
Charles Caskey, PhD, and Will Grissom, PhD | Vanderbilt University's Institute of Imaging Science
Drs. Caskey and Grissom are researchers at Vanderbilt University's Institute of Imaging Science, where they focus on image-guided therapy applications like MR-guided focused ultrasound. The two are Assistant Professors at Vanderbilt - Caskey is in Radiology department and Grissom is in Biomedical Engineering.
Read the site profile with Q&A from Caskey and Grissom from May 2016.
Cary N. Robertson, MD
Dr. Robertson is a urologic oncologist and Associate Professor, Division of Urology, Department of Surgery , Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. He received his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine and was a Urologic Oncology fellow at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
Read his investigator profile from January 2016.
George M. Suarez, MD, FACS, FA AP
Known as one of the world’s leading experts and practitioners in HIFU, Dr. Suarez has performed over 2,000 HIFU procedures and has personally trained more than 400 doctors in this life-changing technology. Dr. Suarez is a Board certified urologist who practices in Miami, Florida, and is a former faculty member of the University of Miami department of Urology.
Read his investigator profile from January 2016.
John F. Ward, MD, FACS
Dr. Ward is Associate Professor of Surgery, Department of Urology, at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. He received his BS in Biology at the University of Notre Dame and his MD at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Postgraduate training includes a clinical residency in urology at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, CA, and a clinical fellowship in urologic-oncology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Jean-Francois Aubry, PhD | Institut Langevin
The Wave Physics for Medicine and Biology laboratory is a leading biomedical research center, developing innovative imaging concepts, and creating and patenting therapeutic innovations in focused ultrasound.
Headed by Dr. Mickaël Tanter, the laboratory is within the Institut Langevin in Paris and is affilitated with the French National Institute of Health (Inserm), the French National Center for Research (CNRS), and the ESPCI ParisTech School of Engineering.
Tom Matula, PhD | The University of Washington
Eight years ago, focused ultrasound pioneer Larry Crum, PhD, transitioned away from directing the department that houses the focused ultrasound efforts at the University of Washington (UW), but under the leadership of Tom Matula, PhD, it has continued to grow into a powerhouse for researching and commercializing focused ultrasound technologies.
Read the site profile from November 2015.
Jürgen Götz, PhD
University of Queensland Professor Jürgen Götz, PhD, is also the Director of the Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research. He is driven to understand the way that Alzheimer's disease cripples the brain and then design an affordable treatment. His ideas to combine focused ultrasound, immunology, and medications are leading to big discoveries.
Wladyslaw "Wady" Gedroyc, MBBS, MRCP, FRCR is a Consultant Radiologist at St. Mary's Hospital, Imperial College NHS trust and has been a champion of focused ultrasound for 16 years. He has treated more than 600 patients, mostly women with uterine fibroids, at St. Mary’s. The center now treats about one uterine fibroid patient per week, and they are continuing to explore other uses of the technology.
Seung-Schik Yoo, PhD, MBA, is an Associate Professior of Radiology at Harvard Medical School and an MRI Research Associate at Brigham & Women's Hospital. He is making breakthroughs in using focused ultrasound to induce functional neuromodulation of the brain and peripheral nervous system and experimenting with various FUS parameters to one day achieve this important milestone in humans.
Nathan McDannold, PhD, has put tremendous effort into the brain applications of focused ultrasound and worked with Kullervo Hynynen to become one of the first to open the blood-brain barrier. His work in drug delivery and neurodegenerative diseases is sure to change the way that medicine is practiced. A medical physicist, he has been a participant in the care of every focused ultrasound patient treated at Brigham & Women's Hospital since 1996.
Radiologist Clare Tempany, MD, has been a Vice Chair for Research at since 2007. She manages the National Center for Image Guided Therapy at Brigham & Women's Hospital, a Focused Ultrasound Foundation Center of Excellence. Dr. Tempany has been instrumental in the clinical trials that led to FDA approval of Insightec’s focused ultrasound system for fibroids and bone metastases. After being involved in the early proof of concept, she is now looking to conduct clinical studies for treating prostate disease.
Zhen Xu, PhD is an Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan. She seeks to ultimately see the translation focused ultrasound to the medical clinic, providing life-changing non-invasive treatment for diseases such as blood clots, liver tumors, brain cancer, and congenital heart disease.
Joseph Frank, MD, FACP
Joseph Frank, Chief of the Frank Laboratory in Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently visited the Foundation to present a webinar about his team’s work using focused ultrasound to boost stem cell homing.
Joan Vidal-Jove, MD, PhD
Dr. Joan Vidal-Jove is the Head of Surgical Oncology at Barcelona University Hospital and is currently studying focused ultrasound for pancreatic cancer. His early research indicates that FUS with chemotherapy may have the ability to extend survival of patients with unresectable tumors.
Elisa Konofagou, PhD
Dr. Konofagou is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology at Columbia University and head of the Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging Laboratory (UEIL) there. Breaking through barriers, she is exploring alternative imaging techniques for focused ultrasound procedures, investigating neurological and cancer applications in preclinical studies, and working with her team to build medical devices in-house to meet their research needs.
Justin Hanes, PhD
Dr. Hanes is the Lewis J. Ort Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Director of the Center for Nanomedicine, The Wilmer Eye Institute at JHU. He works to harness the power of nanotechnology to deliver drugs more efficiently to targeted regions of the body, like the blood-brain barrier.
Read more in his investigator profile from June 2015.
Richard Price, PhD
Dr. Price is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Radiation & Radiation Oncology and Research Director of the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center. His primary interests in focused ultrasound relate to drug and gene delivery across the blood-brain barrier and working to enhance drug and gene delivery to muscle.
Read more in his investigator profile from June 2015.
Chandan Guha, MBBS, PhD
Dr. Guha is the Vice Chair of Radiation Oncology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Einstein) and Montefiore Medical Center and Professor of Pathology, Urology, and Radiation Oncology at Einstein. His research work is in the fields of immunology, radiation oncology, and liver diseases, and has been focused on immunotherapeutic approaches for cancer therapy and the use of regenerative strategies to repopulate injured tissue by use of stem cell-based technologies. He is also involved in treating prostate and liver cancers and is an investigator in several worldwide clinical trials.
Pejman Ghanouni, MD, PhD | Stanford University
Driven by pioneering Body MRI radiologist Pejman (Peji) Ghanouni, MD, PhD, and a multidisciplinary team of experts, Stanford University has become a luminary site for focused ultrasound (FUS) research and is laying the groundwork for future clinical success. Read Dr. Ghanouni's profile from May 2015.
In this video, Dr. Ghanouni discusses his passion for FUS and the work happening at Stanford.