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 [email protected].
Meet the Board
Members of the Board are elected by ISTU members at each annual Symposium meeting for a period of 3 years.
President, Term Through ISTU 2024
Cyril Lafon, Ph.D.
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, Term Through ISTU 2024
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.
Treasurer, Term Through ISTU 2024
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, Presidential Term ISTU 2025 Through ISTU 2027
Elisa E. Konofagou, PhD
Elisa Konofagou is the Robert and Margaret Hariri Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor Radiology as well as Director of the Ultrasound and Elasticity Imaging Laboratory at Columbia University in New York City. Her main interests are in the development of novel theranostic and therapeutic ultrasound methods for the advancement of therapeutic ultrasound. Her group has been working in the field for more than 18 years with applications in breast and pancreatic cancer ablation monitoring as well as brain therapeutics that involve drug delivery through the blood-brain barrier. Elisa has co-authored over 270 published articles in the aforementioned fields. She is recipient of the CAREER award by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Nagy award by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Technological Achievement Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Engineering in Medicine and Biology society (EMBS), the Carl Hellmuth Hertz Ultrasonics Award by the IEEE Society in Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control (UFFC) gas well as additional recognitions by the American Heart Association, the Acoustical Society of America, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the Wallace H. Coulter foundation, the Bodossaki foundation, the Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
Board Members: Term through ISTU 2026
Jon K. Daigle - Industry Board Member
After joining Verasonics, Inc. in 2015, Jon was appointed as President & Chief Executive Officer in 2021. He thrives on the development and commercialization of cutting-edge technological advancements that will impact human health and safety. Jon is a seasoned business leader with over 17 years of experience in medical technology having held roles in corporate strategy, corporate development, strategic marketing, and product management at Medtronic, Becton Dickinson & Co., and others. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Holger Grüll - Geographic Region: Europe/Africa/Middle East Board Member
University Hospital Cologne
Holger Grüll studied chemistry in Cologne, Germany, and gained 1996 his PhD in Physical Chemistry. After several material science related PostDocs in the USA and Israel, he started his industry career at the Philips Research Laboratory in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, where he became later responsible for the in vivo research on molecular imaging and therapeutic applications. In 2007, Dr. Grüll was appointed professor for biomedical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology holding a chair for Molecular Imaging and Image-guided Interventions. In 2016, Dr. Grüll received an appointment full professor at the department of radiology, University Hospital Cologne, where Dr. Grüll is now responsible for the technology development, translational research, and application of MR-HIFU. Main HIFU research areas are histotripsy, hyperthermia, drug delivery in application areas such as pancreatic cancer, sarcoma and bone disease. Dr. Grüll also obtained his qualification and permit to act as a PI for clinical trials. Currently, he is the local PI for the EU Horizon 2020 funded clinical trial FURTHER and two clinical trials for MR-HIFU treatment of facet joint syndrome and pancreatic cancer. In 2021 he received the Pyrexar Award of the European Society of Hyperthermic Oncology for his outstanding contribution related to thermal therapies using MR-HIFU.
Tanya Khokhlova, PhD - Geographic Region: The Americas Board Member
University of Washington
Tanya Khokhlova, PhD. - Dr. Khokhlova’s is an Associate Professor of Research at the Department of Medicine, and a member of Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound, University of Washington. Her research interests are in the development of cavitation-based ultrasound interventions and associated devices for a number of clinical applications, as well as ultrasound imaging-based guidance methods for those therapies. Dr. Khokhlova is one of the inventors of boiling histotripsy and has been advancing its use for mechanical ablation of tumors, stimulation of anti-tumor immune response, and liquefaction of hematomas. Other interests include the use of cavitation for enhancing drug delivery and stimulating the release of cancer biomarkers.
Karun V. Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., FSIRDr. - Clinical Board Member
Children's National Hospital
Karun V. Sharma is Director of Interventional Radiology at Children’s National Hospital and Co-Director of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation Center of Excellence. He is Associate Professor of Radiology and Pediatrics at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dr. Sharma leads the Image-Guided Non-Invasive Therapeutic Energy (IGNITE) program, a multi-disciplinary team of physicians and scientists, which aims to develop and clinically translate MR-HIFU applications for pediatric patients. His group is currently performing NIH-funded research and clinical trials on MR-HIFU ablation for treatment of benign and malignant pediatric bone and soft tissue tumors, as well as for enhanced drug delivery.
Shin Yoshizawa, Ph.D. - Geographic Region: Asia / Australasia Board Member
Shin Yoshizawa, Ph.D., is a professor of Communication Engineering at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. His research interests include cavitation-enhanced HIFU therapy, sonodynamic therapy, ultrasound guidance of HIFU therapy, lithotripsy, and nonlinear acoustics. He has been an expert on dynamics of acoustic cavitation for 20 years. He has been collaborating with medical doctors and industries on the development of an ultrasound-guided cavitation-enhanced HIFU system andthe clinical studies treating pancreatic cancer, and recently founded a startup company for its implementation. He is a CTO in the company. He is also an expert member of IEC TC 87.
Board Members: Term through ISTU 2025
Hong Chen, Ph.D. – Academic Board Member
Dr. Chen is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Radiation Oncology at Washington University in St. Louis. She started her career in focused ultrasound research in 2002 when she was an undergraduate student in China. She has gained diverse expertise in the past 20 years, including ultrasound physics, bioeffects, imaging, and therapy. The mission of her research laboratory is to develop innovative focused ultrasound techniques for improving the lives of patients with brain diseases.
Francesco Prada, M.D. - Clinical Board Member
Dr. Prada is a neurosurgeon and Director of the Acoustic Neuro-Imaging and Therapy Lab (ANTY-Lab) at the Neurologic Institute C. Besta in Milan. He specializes in the use of ultrasound for imaging and therapy of the nervous system, from intra-operative guidance for tumor removal to US mediated post-operative treatments. He actively participates in clinical treatment and researches related to treatment of various brain disease, especially brain cancer, with focused ultrasound (BBB opening, sonodynamic therapy) and he is developing a system to perform transcranial ultrasound guided focused ultrasound procedure to perform US mediated treatments (USgtUS). He is Brain Program Advisor for the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
Dr. Desai leads the strategy for future platforms, luminary ecosystem development, clinical and economic data analytics and modeling, and Medical Advisory Board operational support at INSIGHTEC. Dr. Desai comes to INSIGHTEC from Johnson & Johnson Innovation, where he held the position of Vice President and Chief Operating Officer responsible for delivering on the goals and objectives across the global JLABS organization and the Center for Device Innovation. Dr. Desai completed his advanced medical training at Stanford University where he sits on both clinical and Biodesign faculty. He holds an MD from University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and a B.S. in Economics from The University of Oklahoma.
Benoit Larrat, Ph.D. - At-Large Board Member
Benoit Larrat, Ph.D. is a researcher at the French Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, Paris Saclay University. He belongs to NeuroSpin a high field MRI neuro-imaging research center. He has been active in therapeutic ultrasound since 2007 (44 publications, 3 patents, h-index 22). His research focused on MR guidance techniques (thermometry, acoustic radiation force imaging, MR based adaptive focusing of ultrasound beams), mainly for brain applications (cancer, Alzheimer’s disease). He develops several transcranial MR guided FUS devices from preclinical (rodents, macaques) to clinical ones. He is involved in a large number of projects related to drug delivery after blood-brain barrier opening with a special interest in real time cavitation monitoring.
Eun-Joo Park, Ph.D. - At-Large Board Member
Dr. Park is a research professor at the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Research Institute at Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) in Seoul, Korea. Her research is centered on the medical applications of focused ultrasound (FUS) including targeted drug delivery to the CNS, effective treatment of pancreatic cancer using FUS, enhanced cancer immunotherapy by FUS, sonodynamic therapy, and mechanical tissue stimulation/ablation. Besides being a researcher, she has been serving as a board member of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (KSTU).
Board Members: Term through ISTU 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, 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.
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.
Ex Officio Active Board Members
Joo Ha Hwang, M.D., PhD., Past President, Term Through ISTU 2024
Professor of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
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, Term Through ISTU 2024
Ex Officio Members
Joan Vidal-Jové, M.D., Ph.D., Organizer, ISTU 2019, Term Through ISTU 2022
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