Board of Directors

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

Meet the Board


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


Allison H. Payne, PhD.
University of Utah

Board Members: Term through 2019

Cyril Lafon, Ph.D.
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, Dr. Lafon joined the department of radiation oncology of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (USA).

Kobi Vortman
Kobi Vortman is the founder, the previous CEO and from 2016 Director of InSightec Ltd. founded in 1999, researching, developing and commercializing MRI guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (MRgFUS) systems for the treatment of multiple indications.

George Schade
George Schade, M.D., is an Assistant Professor of Urology at the University of Washington specializing in Urologic Oncology. Dr. Schade earned his M.D. from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the American Urologic Association, Western Section of the American Urologic Association, Society of Urologic Oncology, International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound and Alpha Omega Alpha and previous Urology Care Foundation Research Scholar. His research aims to develop focused ultrasound, with emphasis on histotripsy, for the management of urologic diseases in collaboration with members of the University of Washington Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound. He has received past and present research support from the Urology Care Foundation, Focused Ultrasound Foundation, and NIH National Cancer Institute.

Board Members: Term through 2020

Olivier LeBaron
Olivier Le Baron joined IMASONIC team in 1997 as Sales Engineer responsible for the commercial follow-up and development for Industrial (Non Destructive Testing and Measurement) and Medical applications (Diagnosis and Therapy) of ultrasound transducers. He is now more specifically involved in the medical part of IMASONIC portfolio, especially for Therapeutic applications. Olivier holds a diploma from Polytech Lille a Graduate School of Engineering in France with a specialty from the department of Measurement Systems and Applied Business.

Ayache Bouakaz, Ph.D.
Ayache Bouakaz graduated received the MS degree in acoustics in 1992 and the Ph.D. degree in 1996 from the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (INSA Lyon), France. In 1998, he joined the Department of Bioengineering at the Pennsylvania State University in State College, PA, USA as a postdoc for 2 years. From December 1999 to November 2004, he has been employed as an associate professor at the Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His research focused on imaging, ultrasound contrast agents and transducer design. Since 2009 he holds a permanent position as a director of research, he is the head of the Ultrasound and Imaging laboratory and is the deputy director of the iBrain institute. His research focuses on imaging and therapeutic applications of ultrasound. He was the general chair of the 2016 international conference IEEE IUS and he is the vice president of IEEE UFFC in charge of symposia.

Yoshihiro Muragaki, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Muragaki is a Professor of Faculty of Advanced Techno-Surgery (FATS), Tokyo Women’s Medical University. His clinical specialties are neurosurgery, neuro-oncology, and general oncology. His research interests are the development of HIFU devices and clinical application of sonodynamic therapy (SDT) using HIFU and a drug delivery system for refractory cancers including pancreatic cancer, and bone tumors. He finished first-in-human phase I trial for refractory cancers using sono-sensitive nanomachine and HIFU and plan to further clinical trial.

Zhen Xu, Ph.D
Dr. Xu’s research focuses on developing new ultrasound technique for treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological diseases. She and her colleagues have developed histotripsy, an ultrasound ablation technique via controlled cavitation. Histotripsy is the first image-guided ablation technique that is non-invasive, non-ionizing, and non-thermal. Dr. Xu’s work spans from basic science, device development, preclinical investigations, to clinical translation of histotripsy.

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.

Ex Officio
Jean-Francois Aubry, Past President
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