Graeme Woodworth Receives the 2022 Ferenc Jolesz Memorial Award


Graeme Woodworth, MD, Professor and Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of its Brain Tumor Treatment & Research Center, is this year’s recipient of Ferenc Jolesz Memorial Award.

The Jolesz Award was established in 2016 to honor the life of Ferenc Jolesz, a true pioneer in focused ultrasound. It is intended to recognize and encourage Dr. Jolesz’s innovative spirit in mid-career researchers and clinicians who continue to advance focused ultrasound. The award, which includes a $5,000 cash prize, is supported by Insightec.

Dr. Woodworth’s research focuses on improving treatments for malignant brain tumors, including the deadliest adult primary brain tumor, glioblastoma (GBM). He is investigating the use of focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier (FUS-BBBO) to enhance drug delivery to brain-invading tumor cells – the major source of GBM recurrence. His team completed the first clinical trial of FUS-BBBO in the United States and is developing and conducting new pivotal studies to support device approval by the FDA. Ultimately, he aims to leverage this work to improve survival for patients with GBMs and establish focused ultrasound as a new therapeutic modality for GBM and other devastating brain diseases.

“It is a true honor to receive the Jolesz Award. To be selected for this award by the leadership of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and Insightec is very meaningful given the important roles each of these organizations have played in establishing focused ultrasound in clinical practice. While I did not had the opportunity to meet Dr. Jolesz, his work and his life in neurosurgery and image-guided therapy are inspirations for me.  Dr. Jolesz was a fearless pioneer and helped launch noninvasive, image-guided focused ultrasound therapy for numerous neurological disorders. I hope to embody Dr. Jolesz’s spirit in advancing new devices and clinical applications of focused ultrasound.”  

In 2018, Dr. Woodworth was the recipient of the Foundation’s Lockhart Memorial Prize and is a member of the Foundation’s GBM consortium, a multisite collaboration to streamline efforts and accelerate progress in using focused ultrasound to increase the body’s antitumor immune response. He also serves on the Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee, a group tasked with ensuring that the External Research Awards Program supports catalytic research, creates awareness of focused ultrasound technology and techniques, and advances innovative clinical applications of focused ultrasound.

Dr. Woodworth completed his undergraduate studies at Tufts University and earned his MD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He will formally accept the award and present his research at the 8th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound, to be held October 23-27, 2022. The meeting features a hybrid format, with both in-person and virtual attendance options.

Previous Jolesz Award recipients have included Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD, FRCSC (2020), Seung-Schik Yoo, PhD, MBA (2018), and Nathan McDannold, PhD (2016).