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This year, we celebrate the exceptional accomplishments of our graduates. Four PhD students—Jad, Melina, Rebecca, and Alec—and three Master’s students—Hannah, Daniella, and Sam—have reached significant milestones in their academic careers. Their hard work and dedication have been nothing short of inspiring.

Congratulations to all our graduates!

Dr. S. Jiménez-Gambín will be presenting the research line developed at UEIL on "Alzheimer's Disease treatments using neuronavigation-guided FUS" on the "New trends in ultrasound applications" Erasmus Mundus Master WAVES - Summer School, June 17th-20th, 2024, Gandía (Spain), invited by Universitat Politècnica de València.

We are delighted to announce that Rebecca Noel has successfully defended her PhD dissertation, titled "Characterization of the Neuroprotective and Immunotherapeutic Potential of Focused Ultrasound Blood-Brain Barrier Opening with and without Drug Delivery in Alzheimer's Disease." Her research contributes significantly to the ongoing efforts in Alzheimer's disease treatment.

Congratulations, Rebecca! We are incredibly proud of you!

Fotis Tsitsos will be giving a talk at the ASA Conference in Ottawa on Monday, May 13. The title is: "Extracellular vesicle response following focused ultrasound-mediated blood–brain barrier opening for the detection of Alzheimer’s pathology". The session is 1aBAa: Sonobiopsy for Noninvasive Molecular Diagnosis and the talk is at 9:30 am. Here is the abstract for this talk:

Focused ultrasound (FUS), in conjunction with systemically administered microbubbles, has been shown to induce transient and non-invasive blood–brain barrier opening (BBBO). Originally developed as a method of improving targeted drug delivery, FUS-BBBO has recently been proposed as a means of amplifying detection of disease biomarkers in the bloodstream. We hereby describe a method that can detect extracellular vesicles (EVs) after BBB opening in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mice and patients. BBBO is shown to enhance the release of EVs with disease-specific cargo to the bloodstream when targeting amyloid affected regions and shown to be more sensitive than cell free DNA. In this presentation, we will describe the overall methodology and quantify the concentration and content of EVs isolated from the serum of mice following drug-free FUS-BBBO in both mice and patients. In AD mice and patients, an average EV concentration increase of 164% and 100% 1 h after FUS-BBBO containing both amyloid and tau was, respectively, found compared to 0% under sham conditions and highly correlated with BBBO volume. Whole genome RNA sequencing and mass spectrometry protein identification demonstrated inflammatory and proliferation gene upregulation. These findings highlight the potential of FUS-BBBO to increase EV serum concentration towards early AD detection.

Congratulations Foti!

We’re pleased to share that Dr. Elisa Konofagou has received the Faculty Service Award from Columbia University for her contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This award recognizes her involvement in significant DEI activities, including her work on various diversity committees and the development of programs aimed at enhancing equity both at Columbia and in the broader community.  For more information about this award, visit the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement

Congratulations to Dr. Konofagou on this well-deserved recognition!

Join Dr. Elisa Konofagou on The Wall Street Journal’s podcast, "The Future of Everything," where she discusses the innovative use of ultrasound far beyond pregnancy scans. Dr. Konofagou highlights how this technology can disrupt the blood-brain barrier, paving the way for easier and less invasive treatments for brain conditions like cancer. Learn more about how ultrasound is set to revolutionize direct diagnosis and treatment methods. Listen to the podcast here.

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