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A regal honour

By Alisa Kim  •  November 27, 2018

Dr. Stuart Foster, a senior scientist in Physical Sciences at Sunnybrook Research Institute, was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He joins 88 new Fellows that were also welcomed this year into the esteemed organization, which is comprised of the Academies of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences. He was inducted into the Royal Society at its annual general meeting held Nov. 15–18, 2018 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Foster, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Ultrasound Imaging, is a world leader in high-frequency ultrasound, an imaging technique that produces high-resolution images. The technology enables minute structures within tissue, and physiological details, like blood flowing into a mouse tumour, for example, to be seen noninvasively.

In 1999 Foster formed a company, VisualSonics, to commercialize the technology. The company was acquired in 2010 by SonoSite and bought a year later by Fujifilm. VisualSonics scanners are used for preclinical imaging in labs worldwide to evaluate disease models by studying the effects, over time, of knocking out or adding genes. The technology has also received regulatory approval for clinical use and is being studied in neonatal imaging, neurosurgical guidance and prostate imaging, among other areas.

The honour is one of many celebrations of Foster’s scientific excellence. In June 2018, he was named a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and in 2017, he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering as a foreign member.