Hospital  >  News & media  >  News

Dr. Kullervo Hynynen inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows

March 26, 2024

Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, Vice President, Research and Innovation at Sunnybrook, has been inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows. Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions awarded to medical and biological engineers.

Dr. Hynynen received the honour for his work pioneering research and inventions to advance focused ultrasound (FUS) for the treatment of diseases. MRI-guided focused ultrasound is a non-invasive, image-guided technology that uses ultrasound energy to target specific areas of the brain and body to treat various diseases. Under Dr. Hynynen’s leadership, Sunnybrook was designated a Centre of Excellence in Focused Ultrasound in 2016, making it the first Canadian centre to receive the honour.

“Throughout my career I have watched the potential of focused ultrasound continue to grow,” explains Dr. Hynynen. “We’re looking to a future of more exciting possibilities – using focused ultrasound to treat some of the most debilitating diseases and disorders, and advancing patient care and outcomes.”

In 1991, Dr. Hynynen and Dr. Arthur Guthkelch at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, became the first to report that FUS could be used to treat brain tumours. He was also the first to combine FUS with MRI to guide and monitor treatment, as well as for the controlled opening of the blood-brain barrier for therapeutic purposes.

Dr. Hynynen joined SRI in 2006 and since then, along with researchers in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program, has used FUS in the treatment, or investigation of several diseases including essential tremor, cancer, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Hynynen’s work in FUS is tackling some of the world’s most difficult-to-treat diseases.

“It’s an honour to be recognized by the AIMBE College of Fellows alongside the many brilliant minds in the medical and biological engineering community,” says Dr. Hynynen.

Dr. Hynynen was inducted into the 2024 class alongside 162 medical and biological engineers from around the world. The AIMBE College of Fellows is comprised of the top two per cent of medical and biological engineers and has representatives from more than 30 countries.