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.
Sandra Black, OC, O.Ont., MD, FRSC
Dr. Sandra Black is a world-renowned neurologist who is investigating Alzheimer’s and dementia treatment from multiple angles. She is an expert on the relationship between the brain’s microvasculature and dementia. In this profile, Dr. Black explains why some neurologists are hesitant about opening the blood-brain barrier.
Meaghan O’Reilly, PhD
Dr. Meaghan O’Reilly is an integral part of Sunnybrook Research Institute’s dynamic Focused Ultrasound Research group. She has gained national attention for her research developing focused ultrasound–based therapies for brain and spinal cord disorders. Her goal is to use the technology to treat conditions that affect the entire central nervous system.
Rajiv Chopra, PhD
Rajiv Chopra, PhD, is a pioneering focused ultrasound researcher and a dynamic entrepreneur who has started several companies with the goal of putting focused ultrasound technology in the hands of physicians and researchers. His research has advanced the technology for prostate treatment and countless other applications. Now, he is planning to build a network of outpatient imaging clinics that offer therapeutic ultrasound as a treatment option.
Zenon Starčuk, Jr., PhD
Zenon Starčuk, Jr., PhD, is the head of the Magnetic Resonance and Cryogenics Department, Magnetic Resonance Research Group, and Facility ISI-LMR of infrastructures Czech-BioImaging and Euro-BioImaging. He and a team of researchers at the Institute of Scientific Instruments (ISI) in the Czech Republic are seeking synergetic ways to use MRI and focused ultrasound for the development of new therapeutic applications.
Noah Philip, MD
Noah Philip, MD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is the founding Director of Psychiatric Neuromodulation at the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Providence VA Health System in Providence, RI, and leads innovative mental health research at the VA’s RR&D Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology.
Buzaev Clinic | Ufa, Russia
The Buzaev Clinic is the first focused ultrasound center in Russia offering commercial treatments to patients with essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, and cervical dystonia. We recently spoke with Igor Buzaev, CDBO, an interventional radiologist and one of the site’s founders to learn about how they are pioneering this noninvasive technology in Russia.
Howard Eisenberg, MD
For more than a decade, Howard Eisenberg, MD, has been a cornerstone of the focused ultrasound program at the University of Maryland (UMD). As the Raymond K. Thompson, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery, he primarily uses focused ultrasound to treat movement disorders – like essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease – and pain.
Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD
Dr. Lipsman is the Director of the Harquail Centre for Neuromodulation and the Focused Ultrasound Centre of Excellence at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He is leading the clinical trial investigating focused ultrasound to deliver antibodies to patients with metastatic breast cancer. This is an update of his original profile from May 2017.
Mikhail Shapiro, PhD
Dr. Shapiro’s work combines the physical interactions of ultrasound with synthetic biology – the field of science that redesigns organisms for useful purposes. At Caltech, he leads a 28-person research laboratory dedicated to ultrasound imaging and focused ultrasound.
University Medical Center Utrecht
This comprehensive and dynamic site truly exemplifies the Foundation’s Centers of Excellence programmatic goal to serve as a hub for collaboration while bringing together academia, industry, and the Foundation to showcase focused ultrasound technology.
Eli Vlaisavljevich, PhD
The Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech discusses his “unfocused” focused ultrasound work, which ranges from cancer treatment to conservation.
Joan Vidal-Jové, MD, PhD
Now the Director of the Comprehensive Tumor Center at the Khuab Institute for Interventional Oncology in Barcelona, Dr. Vidal-Jové is dedicated to advancing focused ultrasound to treat pancreatic and liver cancer.
The Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Hospital | Karun Sharma, MD, PhD
Children’s National Hospital researchers have made strides treating pediatric solid tumors and now have their sights on novel cancer applications of focused ultrasound.
José Obeso, MD, PhD
Neurologist Prof. José Obeso has built a large research and clinical practice centered on using focused ultrasound to halt the progression of Parkinson’s and other brain diseases.
Craig Slingluff, MD
Dr. Craig Slingluff’s current clinical trial at the University of Virginia is studying the effects of focused ultrasound and immunotherapy to treat advanced solid tumors.
Seoul National University Hospital | Jae Young Lee, MD, PhD
The Core Hub for Medical Research of UltraSound (CHORUS) is a focused ultrasound research facility at Seoul National University Hospital with a mission to make a better world using ultrasound.
Stephen Scionti, MD
Stephen Scionti, MD, a urologist who specializes in prostate cancer treatment, is a leading authority on using focused ultrasound to treat the disease.
Ashish Ranjan, BVSc, PhD
As a veterinarian scientist, Dr. Ranjan studies how focused ultrasound can noninvasively treat cancer and non-healing wounds in dogs and cats.
Physics for Medicine Paris | Jean-Francois Aubry, PhD
Physics for Medicine Paris is dedicated to inventing technologies for medical imaging and therapy by translating fundamental physics ideas into preclinical and clinical devices.
Isabelle Aubert, PhD
Isabelle Aubert, PhD, Senior Scientist and Director of the Brain Repair Group at Sunnybrook Research Institute, studies the neurobiology of focused ultrasound to help patients with Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Parkinson’s.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust | Wladyslaw Gedroyc, MBBS, MRCP, FRCR
Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service (NHS) Trust is the largest teaching and research trust in the United Kingdom, and it includes five hospitals in London. We interviewed Professor Gedroyc to learn more about the focused ultrasound program that he created and how it continues to expand.
University of Queensland’s Queensland Brain Institute | Jürgen Götz, PhD
In January 2019, the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) announced that $10 million of its latest capital campaign would be directed to its Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) to support the work of Dr. Jürgen Götz and his team of researchers at the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research (CJCADR). As QBI completes the necessary steps toward initiating their first focused ultrasound-based phase 1 clinical safety trial for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, we interviewed Dr. Götz to learn more about CJCADR and their progress.
Dheeraj Gandhi, MD
Dr. Dheeraj Gandhi has been involved in all aspects of clinical focused ultrasound work at the University of Maryland, with a specific focus on facilitating direct image-based targeting of brain structures using advanced MR techniques. He has been involved in more than 65 focused ultrasound procedures and is now Principal Investigator for a new clinical trial that uses focused ultrasound to treat neuropathic pain. We recently interviewed Dr. Gandhi to learn more about his new study, his career, and his work.
Hong Chen, PhD | Washington University in St. Louis
The Chen Ultrasound Laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri (WUSTL) is the epicenter of focused ultrasound research that is conducted across at least eight different academic departments within the University. We interviewed Dr. Chen to learn more about the projects and people at this dynamic center.
Constantin Coussios, PhD
Professor Coussios is the Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and the Statutory Chair of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oxford. On the heels of his seminal publication in the Lancet Oncology, we asked Professor Coussios to tell us more about how he became interested in focused ultrasound, his current projects, and his plans for the future.
Graeme Woodworth, MD
Dr. Woodworth is Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of its Brain Tumor Treatment & Research Center. He is researching the use of focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier to provide treatment options for patient with brain tumors (both glioma and metastatic) and other brain diseases.
Michael Temple, MD
Michael Temple, MD, is a Canadian interventional radiologist who has done groundbreaking work using the technology to treat pediatric patients. Learn more about his focused ultrasound work and plans for the future.
University of Calgary
University of Calgary researchers with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute in the Cumming School of Medicine are combining expertise and resources to bring the first comprehensive focused ultrasound brain program to Western Canada. Physicians and scientists from the departments of Clinical Neurosciences, Radiology, and Psychiatry have all joined together for this project.
Richard Price, PhD
Can focused ultrasound be used as a tool to allow therapeutic agents to reach deadly brain tumors? Is it possible to stop the progression and spread of breast cancer? If Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed early, could its effect on the brain be reversed? We recently sat down with Dr. Richard Price whose team is tackling these questions and more.
Matthew Bucknor, MD
As the lead clinician at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine who is performing focused ultrasound treatments, Matthew Bucknor, MD, has used the technology to perform more than 30 procedures on 20 patients. Combining his focused ultrasound expertise with his sub-specialization in musculoskeletal radiology, he has recently initiated a new clinical trial comparing focused ultrasound to CT-guided radiofrequency ablation for treatment of specific bone tumors.
Vibhor Krishna, MD, ScM
Dr. Krishna is an Assistant Professor, Center for Neuromodulation, Department of Neurosurgery and Department of Neuroscience, at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio with a focus on treatments and techniques of deep brain stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, and high intensity focused ultrasound.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
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.
University of Maryland
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.
Cyril Lafon, PhD
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Gedroyc, MBBS, MRCP, FRCR
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
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
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.
Clare Tempany, MD
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
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.
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.
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.