Get Involved

We would love to hear from you!  We're always looking for existing members that may wish to be more involved with ISTU, and want to serve on our committees working with our board members to help guide on our key initiatives. Also, please let us know if you are interested in 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

Meet the Board

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


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).

Secretary General

Meaghan O'Reilly, Ph.D.

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.


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.

Board Members: Term through 2024

Christian Coviello, Ph.D. - Industry Board Member
Dr. Christian Coviello is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of OxSonics Therapeutics. He leads the development of OxSonics’ proprietary system, SonoTran, designed to enhance anti-cancer drug delivery into solid tumors and which enters its first-in-human clinical trial in 2021. In this role, he leads a team that covers preclinical model development and analysis, hardware design including a novel multi-function probe and system, as well as proprietary software design. He has a special interest in applications and monitoring of cavitation-enhanced, focused ultrasound therapy, a subject in which he has authored or co-authored several papers and has granted and pending patents.

Pejman Ghanouni, M.D., Ph.D. - Clinical Board Member
Dr. Pejman Ghanouni is an Associate Professor of Radiology at Stanford University. His research and clinical work are concentrated on translation of focused ultrasound to clinical use. He uses MR guided focused ultrasound to treat patients with essential or Parkinson’s tremor, bone and soft tissue tumors, uterine fibroids, and prostate cancer, having participated in clinical trials of MRgFUS for each of these indications. He currently co-leads trials applying MR guided focused ultrasound to the treatment of pancreatic cancer and epilepsy. Dr. Ghanouni directs Stanford’s Minimally Invasive MR Interventional Center and co-directs the Stanford Focused Ultrasound Foundation Center of Excellence.

Viola Rieke, Ph.D. - Academic Board Member
Dr. Viola Rieke is an Associate Professor in Radiology and Imaging Sciences at the University of Utah. Her research is focused on MR imaging to guide and monitor focused ultrasound, and contributes to the translation of this exciting technology into the clinic through the development of new hardware, advanced treatment planning, monitoring, and assessment techniques. Dr. Rieke has extensive experience with clinical FUS treatments including fibroids, bone metastases, osteoid osteoma, desmoid tumors, and essential tremor. She currently has NIH funding to improve transcranial MRgFUS and investigate FUS ablation and neurostimulation to alleviate back pain.

Mikhail Shapiro, Ph.D. - At-Large Board Member

Mikhail Shapiro, PhD is a Professor of Chemical Engineering, an Investigator of the Heritage Medical Research Institute, and director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the California Institute of Technology. The Shapiro laboratory develops biomolecular technologies allowing cells to be imaged and controlled inside the body using ultrasound to enable the study of biological function and the development of cell-based diagnostic and therapeutic agents.

Eli Vlaisavljevich, Ph.D. – At-Large Board Member

Dr. Eli Vlaisavljevich is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His research interests include focused ultrasound, non-invasive tissue ablation (HIFU, histotripsy), cavitation physics, nanoparticle-mediated histotripsy (NMH), biomaterials, tissue regeneration, cancer, non-invasive neuromodulation, and clinical translation. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, Dr. Vlaisavljevich conducted his graduate degrees in the Histotripsy Lab at the University of Michigan (2010-2015) and then spent two years working at HistoSonics (2015-2017) on the development of histotripsy for the treatment of liver cancer.

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.

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.

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.

Ex Officio

Joo Ha Hwang, M.D., PhD., Past President
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).

Jae-Young Lee, Co-Organizer, ISTU 2021
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