Katherine Whittaker Ferrara
Katherine W. Ferrara was ahead of the curve in the biomedical ultrasonics community in realizing that bubble-based contrast agents can be used for molecular imaging with proper targeting. Her pioneering work in integrating imaging methods and engineered vesicles for diagnosing and treating cancer led to phase inversion schemes in ultrasound imaging becoming one of the most common imaging modes for clinical contrast agent studies. Ferrara’s recent research on integrating ultrasound with magnetic resonance imaging to guide therapy and the integration of ultrasound ablation with nanotherapeutics to cure local cancers has advanced magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) thermal ablation. As a noninvasive, image-guided thermal treatment for cancer, MRgFUS can help spare normal tissue and critical structures around the tumor and eliminate micrometastases.
An IEEE Fellow, Ferrara is a professor of radiology with Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.