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The Making of Medicine

Advancing Great Work in Focused Ultrasound

Congratulations are in order for Richard Price, PhD, a professor of biomedical engineering, radiology and radiation oncology. He was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s inaugural $75,000 Andrew J. Lockhart Memorial Prize. Lockhart died in 2016 from an aggressive form of cancer that affects the liver and gallbladder, and his family and friends established the prize with the hope that focused ultrasound research will lead to new treatments for solid cancers. “Our family, including Andrew, was excited about the potential of focused ultrasound as a breakthrough treatment for very difficult cancers like his,” said his mother, Terry Lockhart. “This prize is a way for Andrew’s death to have a lasting, positive effect on others.”

The prize recognizes a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the exploration of focused ultrasound’s potential to treat cancer and who shows great potential for further advances in the field. Price has been looking at the use of focused ultrasound to make it easier to deliver drugs and genes to the brain, to overcome what is know as the “blood-brain barrier” that typically blocks such efforts. He’s also looking at focused ultrasound as a means to deliver drugs and genes to skeletal muscle to promote the growth of new blood vessels, and he is examining the use of ultrasound-activated microbubbles to destroy tumors. It’s all very cool stuff, with tremendous potential.

“Rich Price has been on the vanguard of focused ultrasound’s application in the fight against cancer and other elusive diseases,” said our  Richard P. Shannon, MD, UVA’s executive vice president for health affairs. “Focused ultrasound can be transformational in a multimodality approach.”

“I am grateful to receive this award from the Lockhart family,” Price said. “This prize encourages the pursuit of new and exciting opportunities in the field of focused ultrasound and reminds everyone in my lab that people really care about the work we are doing and value our collective contributions.”

I should have some more focused ultrasound news for you around the end of the month. Stay tuned!

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