Elisa Konofagou, PhD, Named 2022 Symposium President


The Foundation is pleased to announce that Elisa Konofagou, PhD, will serve as honorary president of the 8th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound.

Dr. Konofagou is the Robert and Margaret Hariri Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Radiology at Columbia University. She also directs the university’s Ultrasound and Elasticity Imaging Laboratory, where her research in focused ultrasound addresses drug delivery, breast cancer treatment, and neuromodulation.

Dr. Konofagou is a pioneer and leading expert in using focused ultrasound for blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening to enable delivery of therapeutics for treating a wide range of neurological disorders. She began a clinical trial last year investigating focused ultrasound to open the BBB in patients with Alzheimer’s disease using a device she developed. More recently, Dr. Konofagou launched clinical trials for BBB opening and drug delivery in pediatric patients with diffuse midline glioma (DMG)benign and malignant breast tumors, and peripheral neuromodulation for pain treatment in the sural nerve and carpal tunnel.

The Foundation has supported many of Dr. Konofagou’s projects, including her current brain studies, neuropathic pain studies, and earlier research opening the BBB to deliver anti-alpha synuclein antibodies to the brain in a preclinical Parkinson’s model.

“I am humbled by this honor, and I thank the Foundation for the kind invitation to serve as Symposium president,” says Dr. Konofagou. “I have enjoyed attending and presenting at the Symposium over the past 15 years, and it has been a true delight to see it grow over the years. I am especially thrilled to see how focused ultrasound has opened a new frontier in the brain but also in other organs where focal treatment is key. I very much look forward to another successful meeting in the fall.”

Last year, Dr. Konofagou was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

“Elisa is a true pioneer in focused ultrasound, not only in how she uses the technology to address some of the most challenging disorders, but also by inventing novel devices that push the industry forward,” said Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. “The Foundation has been proud to support her work, and we are honored to have her leading our Symposium this year.”

The 8th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound will take place October 23-27, 2022, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. The event is being planned as a hybrid meeting, which includes options to attend in-person and virtually.

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