Dr. Yaoheng Yang receives an Assistant Professor position from USC

Congratulations to Dr. Yaoheng Yang! He will start his faculty position as an Assistant Professor at the Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) of the University of Southern California on 1/1/2025. Check out his cool lab website: Yang BioAcoustic Lab

The Wall Street Journal’s podcast features sonobiopsy

Drs. Hong Chen and Eric Leuthardt discuss sonobiopsy on The Wall Street Journal’s podcast. They explained how it works and how it can benefit patients. Dr. Elisa Knofagou, who was Dr. Chen’s postdoc advisor when she was at Columbia University, is also featured. Here is the link to the podcast and a brief description: WSJ’s […]

Dr. Chen receives the 2024 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

Congratulations to Dr. Chen on receiving the 2024 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award! This award recognizes faculty members who demonstrate exceptional mentorship to trainees. Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (OFMA) | Office of Postdoctoral Affairs | Washington University in St. Louis (wustl.edu)

AhSonogenetics: a new frontier in brain neuromodulation

The Chen team, led by Yaoheng Yang and former postdoc Zhongtao Hu, has recently developed a new technology called Airy-beam holographic sonogenetics, or AhSonogenetics. This revolutionary technology utilizes the Airy beam-enabled binary acoustic metasurface (AB-BAMs) to acoustically modulate neurons. AB-BAMs is a 3D-printed holographic device that can flexibly manipulate ultrasound beams. The use of AB-BAMs […]

Dingyue wins ASA Student Poster Competition

Congratulations to Dingyue (Doris) Zhang for placing 2nd in the Student Poster Competition at the 186th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). She received this award for her poster presentation on the ‘Evaluation of sonobiopsy feasibility and safety in a mouse model of diffusive intrinsic pontine glioma’. Amazing job Dingyue!

Ultrasound noninvasively delivers immunotherapy to the brain

In 2023, the Chen lab, led by graduate student Siaka Fadera, demonstrated noninvasive delivery of an immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) to the brain using focused ultrasound combined with microbubbles. This study was performed in a large animal model and demonstrated the feasibility and safety of opening the blood brain barrier using focused ultrasound to deliver […]

Chih-Yen Chien receives BME Outstanding Dissertation Award

Congratulations to an esteemed member of the lab, Chih-Yen Chien, for receiving her doctorate degree in Biomedical Engineering! Chih-Yen defended her thesis, titled ‘Passive Acoustic Detection for Focused Ultrasound Induced Blood-Brain Barrier Opening: Transitioning from Mice to Pigs to Humans’, on April 18th. Chih-Yen was also selected as a winner of the BME Outstanding Dissertation […]

A new doctor in town — Dr. Lu Xu

Congratulations to one of our lab’s brilliant and talented members, Lu Xu, for receiving his doctorate degree in Biomedical Engineering! Lu defended his thesis, titled ‘Develop and Optimize Clinical System of Focused Ultrasound-enabled Liquid Biopsy (Sonobiopsy) for Brain Cancer Diagnosis’, on April 24th and received outstanding remarks from his peers and mentors. Lu will go […]

Quality assurance protocol developed for focused ultrasound technique

Dr. Hong Chen and her team have been utilizing focused ultrasound with microbubbles to open the blood-brain barrier for drug delivery or biomarker retrieval, but lacked a strategy to ensure the safety and consistency of their treatment. To address this, the team, which includes doctoral student Chih-Yen Chien, developed a quality assurance strategy that incorporates […]

Dr. Hong Chen Named Senior Member of National Academy of Inventors

Dr. Hong Chen has been named a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). She is being recognized as an academic inventor and emerging leader in her field, who has demonstrated achievements in patents, licensing and commercialization and has produced “technologies that have brought, or aspire to bring, real impact on the welfare […]

Dr. Hong Chen Ranked 11th Nationwide for NIH funding

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research (BRIMR) has published rankings of institutions, departments, and investigators based on the funding they receive from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). We are pleased to announce that Dr. Hong Chen is ranked 11th nationally among all Principal Investigators in Neurosurgery. Additionally, the WashU Neurosurgery ranked No. 5 in NIH […]

Our lab relocated to the Neuroscience Research Building

Our laboratory is embarking on a new chapter in 2024 by relocating to the Neuroscience Research Building — a 609,000-square-foot, 11-story facility — at 4370 Duncan Ave. The university invested $616 million to construct the building, the largest and most expensive in the medical school’s history. The investment was driven by leaders’ belief that the […]

Our hibernation work reported by NIH NIBIB Science Highlights

NIH NIBIB funds the work of more than 5,000 researchers around the country and internationally. Being chosen as an NIH NIBIB Science Highlight is a prestigious recognition. The article “Ultrasound can briefly induce a hibernation-like state in animals” features our innovative research on ultrasound-induced artificial torpor. The piece presents ultrasound as a groundbreaking approach that […]

Cordance Receives FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for Sonobiopsy

In just 5 years, our team turned the revolutionary Sonobiopsy technology from concept to commercialization amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This technology provides a noninvasive solution to brain disease diagnostics through the use of focused ultrasound for release of disease-specific biomarkers from brain to blood, which can further be detected and characterized using liquid-based biopsy.  Cordance […]

Noninvasive Sonobiopsy is Feasible and Safe in Humans

Dr. Hong Chen and Dr. Eric Leuthardt, MD have laid the foundation for a revolutionary technique that noninvasively surveys the molecular and genetic information of brain tumors. This technique, termed sonobiopsy, uses focused ultrasound and microbubbles to precisely and accurately target a brain tumor lesion, temporarily disrupt the blood brain barrier at the target region, […]

Chen Lab received two NIH R01 awards 

The Chen lab recently received two NIH awards to fund their research on ultrasound combined with genetics for treatment of brain disorders. One of the awards — a five-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke — will fund the team’s transformative Sonogenetics 2.0 research, […]

Dingyue received best poster award at 2023 IC-UEBA

Dingyue (Doris) Zhang received her first best poster award at the 15th International Conference on Ultrasound Engineering for Biomedical Applications (IC-UEBA). This award was given to the best three posters during the conference poster sessions. Congratulations to Dingyue on this wonderful achievement!

Hong Chen’s Team Induces Torpor-Like State Using Ultrasound

Some animals have an extraordinary ability to conserve energy by going into torpor, a physiological state marked by reduced body temperature and metabolic activity, which enables them to survive adverse environmental conditions such as harsh weather or lack of food. Hong Chen’s team, led by Yaoheng (Mack) Yang, demonstrated safe and noninvasive induction of torpor-like […]

Our glymphatic paper is published in PNAS

Like the lymphatic system in the body, the glymphatic system in the brain clears metabolic waste and distributes nutrients and other important compounds. Impairments in this system may contribute to brain diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. Dezhuang (Summer) Ye in collaboration with the team found a noninvasive and nonpharmaceutical method to influence glymphatic […]