Meet the Board

Members of the Board are elected by ISTU members at each annual Symposium meeting for a period of 3 years.

President

Joo Ha Hwang, M.D., PhD.
Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Stanford University

Dr. Hwang specializes in early detection of gastrointestinal malignancies including esophageal cancer, gastric (stomach) cancer, pancreatic cancer, bile duct cancer and colon cancer. In addition to his clinical activities, Dr. Hwang is interested in medical device innovation. Dr. Hwang actively participates in research related to treatment of pancreatic cancer with focused ultrasound. He currently has NIH funding to investigate the use of focused ultrasound for enhancing drug delivery to pancreatic tumors. He is the current president of the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU).

Secretary General

Kim Butts Pauly, M.D.
Professor of Radiology
Stanford University

Dr. Butts Pauly is a Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Radiology, with courtesy appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering. She is Director of the Radiological Sciences Laboratory, a division within the Department of Radiology, and Director of the Focused Ultrasound Laboratory. Her work is in MRI-guided focused ultrasound for the treatment of cancer, non-cancer neurological disorders, and neuromodulation.

Treasurer

Allison H. Payne, PhD.
University of Utah

Dr. Payne is a mechanical engineer with expertise in thermal therapies; specifically magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound. Her research contributes to the translation and dissemination of this exciting technology through the development of new hardware, advanced treatment planning and monitoring and assessment techniques. During the past 10 years, Dr. Payne has led the team that designed a breast-specific MRgFUS system that is currently in clinical trials in Europe for treating breast cancer. She has additional expertise in mechanical design, MR imaging, temperature measurement, acoustic radiation force imaging and acoustic modeling.

President-Elect

Cyril lafon, Ph.D.
Research Director,
Head of LabTau, INSERM

Dr. Lafon earned his B.Sc. degree in Physics from University Blaise Pascal of Clermont Ferrand, France and University of Montreal, Quebec, in 1995, and his Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from University Claude Bernard of Lyon, France, in 1999. After developing interstitial HIFU probes during his Ph.D. study in INSERM Unit 281, Dr. Lafon joined for two years the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington, Seattle, as a postdoctoral research fellow. Dr. Lafon worked there on ultrasound induced hemostasis and the development of tissue mimicking phantoms for HIFU applications. Dr. Lafon was recruited by INSERM, Unit 556, in 2002 as a research scientist. He is now research director and head of LabTAU, INSERM Unit 1032. His recent research interests focus on modeling ultrasound wave propagation, development of ultrasonic therapeutic devices for thermal ablation or drug delivery and communication by ultrasound for medical applications. In July 2016 and for one year, Cyril Lafon joined the department of radiation oncology of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (USA).

Board Members: Term through 2021

Matthew Eames, Ph.D
Dr. Eames, joined the Focused Ultrasound 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, preclinical, 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.

Nir Lipsman M.D., Ph.D, FRCSC
Dr. Lipsman is a neurosurgeon and scientist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto followed by a medical degree at Queen’s University, and a neurosurgical residency at the University of Toronto. During his residency, Dr. Lipsman completed his PhD investigating novel neuromodulation strategies in patients with treatment-resistant psychiatric and neurologic conditions. He is currently the Director of Sunnybrook’s Harquail Center for Neuromodulation, and the Clinical Director of Sunnybrook’s Focused Ultrasound Centre of Excellence.

Dr. Lipsman has helped develop several clinical trials of MR-guided focused ultrasound (FUS) in novel indications, including among the world’s first experience of FUS in essential tremor, obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depression and chronic pain, as well as the first randomized control trial of FUS in tremor. He has led the world’s first application of FUS-mediated blood brain barrier (BBB) opening in Alzheimer’s Disease, and helped develop the first applications in primary and secondary brain tumors and ALS. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, including in The Lancet, Lancet Neurology, Nature Communications, New England Journal of Medicine, and Neuron.

David Melodelima, Ph.D.
Dr. Melodelima was awarded a PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2004 from the Lyon 1 university for his work in the treatment of esophageal cancers using an intraluminal MR-guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) device. He then carried out postdoctoral work in radiation force ultrasound elastography at Royal Marsden NHS Trust, Institute for Cancer Research, Sutton, UK. Dr. Melodelima was recruited by the French institute of Health and medical research (INSERM) in 2005 as a research scientist. He is now a Research Director in the LabTAU (Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound of INSERM) and head of the team “High Energy Ultrasound”. He has a teaching activity in the University Claude Bernard of Lyon and school of engineer Phelma Grenoble. His research covers the entire range of investigation from the bench to the bedside. His main interests deals with therapeutic applications of ultrasound as well as drug delivery using low intensity ultrasound and new method of ultrasound elastography for guiding HIFU treatments.

Robert Staruch, Ph.D.
Dr. Staruch is a Senior Clinical Scientist at Profound Medical in Toronto, Canada. He has contributed to the technical and clinical development of several applications of MRI-guided ultrasound thermal therapy, including transurethral ultrasound ablation of the prostate, MR-HIFU mild hyperthermia, and hyperthermia-mediated drug delivery.

Board Members: Term through 2022

Matthew Bucknor, M.D. - Clinical Board Member
Dr. Matthew Bucknor is an Assistant Professor in the Musculoskeletal Imaging section of the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where he serves as Director of Focused Ultrasound. At UCSF he has used focused ultrasound technology to perform more than 50 procedures, which combined with his prior work at Stanford in collaboration with Dr. Pejman Ghanouni, makes him one of the most experienced physicians in the country treating musculoskeletal diseases using focused ultrasound. Dr. Bucknor’s research program involves both basic and translational studies aimed at better understanding the impact of technical parameters of focused ultrasound, as well as clinical studies evaluating its use for new indications. He currently oversees three active focused ultrasound clinical trials at UCSF for treatment of patients with bone metastases, osteoid osteomas, and soft tissue sarcomas. He is particularly interested in developing focused ultrasound techniques to augment clinical response of cancer treatments such as immunotherapy.

Erik Dumont, Ph. D. - Industry Board Member

Erik Dumont is the founder and CEO/CTO of Image Guided Therapy, a small company based in Bordeaux, France, which develops HIFU systems for pre-clinical research and for therapeutic use. His research interests are in HIFU therapy control and guidance including temperature and cavitation monitoring, and HIFU metrology and quality insurance.

Meaghan O'Reilly, Ph.D. - At Large Board Member

Dr. O’Reilly is a Scientist in Physical Sciences at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, and an Assistant Professor of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include delivery, monitoring and control of bubble-mediated therapies in the CNS, with a recent focus on targeted drug delivery to the spinal cord, and the development of devices and methods for transvertebral focusing at clinical scale.

Juan Tu, Ph. D. - At Large Board Member
Juan Tu is a professor and the director in the Department of Acoustics at Nanjing University. Her research interests are primarily in the field of medical ultrasound, bubble dynamics, ultrasound contrast agents, ultrasound-mediated gene/drug delivery, and the mechanisms and bioeffects related to ultrasound-induced cavitation activity.

Alfred C. H. Yu, Ph.D. - Academic Board Member

Dr. Yu is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Canada and the Director of Laboratory on Innovative Technology in Medical Ultrasound (LITMUS). His research interests include therapeutic ultrasound biophysics and sonoporation-mediated drug delivery. Dr. Yu’s scientific research is recognized by various prestigious prizes, including the Frederic Lizzi Award from ISTU, the IEEE Ultrasonics Early Career Investigator Award, and the Ontario Early Career Researcher Award. He is a dedicated contributor to the ultrasonics community. Between 2013-2016, he was a member of the standing program committee for ISTU’s annual symposium, and he was the basic science track organizer of ISTU’s inaugural Education Day event in 2014. He is currently an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics & Frequency Control, an Editorial Board Member of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, and the Medical Ultrasound Group Chair of IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium.

Board Members: Term through 2023

Gil Dubernard - Clinical Board Member

Dr. Gil Dubernard is a Professor of Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University (France). He is in charge of the obstetric and gynecologic department of Croix-Rousse University Hospital. He specializes in the diagnosis and surgical management of deep infiltrating endometriosis. He is interested in ultrasound guided FUS and started therapeutic ultrasound since 2014. He developed in collaboration with the LabTAU (INSERM 1032) a protocol to treat rectal endometriosis by HIFU. Clinical and scientific studies will start on the same thematic in 2020 and several projects are currently being discussed in obstetric and breast disease.

Suzanne LeBlang - At-Large Board Member 

Dr. Suzanne LeBlang is a neuroradiologist and Director of Clinical Relationships at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation where she fosters collaborations among existing and new focused ultrasound physicians, researchers, and manufacturers. She interfaces with the medical and surgical societies at various meetings in order to update the Foundation staff and suggest potential translational and clinical projects. Her prior position at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation was the co- Chief Medical Officer.  She has performed hundreds of FUS procedures including the first commercial focused ultrasound treatment after FDA approval in 2004.  As an Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, she was the Director of the 3rd year MD/MPH Radiology Clerkship.

Kyle Morrison - Industry Board Member 

As the President of Sonic Concepts, Kyle is focused on driving the development of innovative ultrasonic solutions used in the medical, biotechnology, and industrial markets.  He leads Sonic Concepts’ multi-disciplinary engineering teams that focus on ultrasonic transducers, drive electronics, and software.  He thrives in collaborating with the FUS community to provide guidance and offer premium solutions necessary to the field’s ongoing progress.  Kyle holds a BSMET and MS in Medical Engineering from the University of Washington and has published several papers on ultrasound technologies.

Richard J. Price, PhD - Academic Board Member

Dr. Price is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology & Medical Imaging at the University of Virginia. He is also Research Director of the UVa Focused Ultrasound Center. Much of his research centers on the use of microbubble activation with focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier for effective nanoparticle delivery, with recent studies aimed at treating brain tumors and reversing neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Disease. Dr. Price is also studying how focused ultrasound can synergize with various immunotherapeutic approaches, with investigations in this area supporting clinical trials for multiple cancer indications at the University of Virginia.

Ex Officio

Jean-François Aubry, Past President
Jae-Young Lee, Co-Organizer, ISTU 2020
Joan Vidal-Jové, M.D., Ph.D., Organizer, ISTU 2019
Chrit Moonen, Organizer, ISTU 2015
Kim Butts-Pauly, Organizer, ISTU 2014
Guofeng Shen, Organizer, ISTU 2013
Stephen Meairs, Organizer, ISTU 2012
Elisa Konofagou, Co-Organizer, ISTU 2011
Robert Muratore, Co-Organizer, ISTU 2011

ISTU Executive Director
Shelly Reid

Learn More

We love to hear from our members.  We're also looking for existing members that may wish to be more involved with ISTU, and learn about open positions that may be available on our Board of Directors in the next term.

Please send any questions, suggestions or comments to our board members via an email to admin@istu.org.