Accolades: National Publication Lauds Pioneer for Focused Ultrasound Innovations

April 19, 2024 By Dan Heuchert, Dan Heuchert,

Modern Healthcare recognized UVA Health neurosurgeon Dr. W. Jeffrey Elias as one of its Innovators for 2024 for his pioneering work in the field of focused ultrasound.

Modern Healthcare’s Innovators Awards program recognizes leaders and organizations driving innovation that improves patient care, achieves measurable results and contributes to the clinical and financial goals of the organization.

The profiles of the honorees are featured in the current issue of Modern Healthcare magazine and online at

The use of focused ultrasound technology can replace a surgeon’s scalpel with focused sound waves. Instead of requiring a neurosurgeon to cut into a patient’s skull, the technology focuses sound waves deep inside a patient’s brain to disrupt faulty brain circuits. Elias’ pioneering research helped pave the way for federal Food and Drug Administration approval of the technology as a treatment option both for essential tremor, a common movement disorder, and Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

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His success has attracted national and international attention, drawn patients to UVA Health from around the world, and spurred research into the potential of the technology for many other applications, including UVA Health’s own Focused Ultrasound Cancer Immunotherapy Center. The impact of Elias’ work can be seen in the growing number of hospitals around the globe offering focused ultrasound treatments.

General Assembly Commends Outgoing Dean

The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution March 4 commending Risa Goluboff’s term as dean of the University of Virginia School of Law, which ends June 30.

Risa Goluboff

The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution lauding Risa Goluboff for her term as dean of the UVA School of Law. (Contributed photo)

The resolution, sponsored by state Sens. Creigh Deeds and Scott Surovell and state Del. Rip Sullivan, noted in part, “Risa Goluboff made history at UVA Law both by becoming the school’s first female dean and through her achievements in the areas of faculty hiring, fundraising and student experience.”

Goluboff is the author of “Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s” and “The Lost Promise of Civil Rights.” She is the Arnold H. Leon Professor of Law and a professor of history at UVA.

Air Force ROTC Leader Earns Inaugural ‘Instructor of the Year’ Honor

U.S. Air Force Maj. Tim Robles last week received the first Col. James A. Ball University of Virginia ROTC Instructor of the Year award, inaugurated this spring by a group of ROTC alumni to honor an instructor who was influential in their careers and lives.

Tim Robles in uniform standing in front of an American flag

U.S. Air Force Maj. Tim Robles is the inaugural winner of the Ball Award, given to a top junior ROTC instructor. (Contributed photo)

Robles, an intelligence officer in the Air Force, traveled more than 400 miles each week to teach cadets at UVA, James Madison University and Liberty University. He researched and created a new leadership development guide for the cadet’s use, overhauled detachment field training events and helped conduct a nationwide review of Air Force ROTC detachments’ self-assessments. He is due to be reassigned this summer.

Ball, who served UVA’s Air Force ROTC unit from 1971 to 1975, was on hand for the ceremony. He learned of his namesake award during an informal luncheon with his former students earlier in the day.

Senior leaders in the Air Force/Space Force, Army and Navy units will annually nominate assistant professors who excel in “teaching performance, counseling abilities, civilian activities and contributions to the national ROTC unit” for the award.

“For me, and I think the many of us from the ‘70s who have reunited in the last couple of years, (the award) is about memorializing our feelings for one of those lesser-known heroes of our dear institutions, both UVA and the Air Force,” retired Air Force Lt. Col. John Valliere wrote in an email. 

Valliere is one of Ball’s former students.

UVA Chemist Selected for Research in Germany

Charles Machan with a blue and orange bow tie, smiling

The Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award will allow chemistry professor Charles Machan to advance his research in Germany. (Photo by Tom Cogill)

Charles Machan, an associate professor of chemistry who researches catalytic materials for the use of solar electricity in converting water and carbon dioxide into fuels and chemicals, has received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

The award carries an approximately $48,000 stipend and the opportunity to conduct six to 12 months of research at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the award is named for Bessel, a prominent German astronomer and mathematician who died in 1846. It is open to internationally recognized researchers from countries other than Germany who earned their doctorates fewer than 18 years ago. Approximately 20 winners are selected each year from nominations submitted by German researchers.

Machan participates in the Catalysis Initiative for Clean Energy and Chemicals, which receives support from UVA’s Grand Challenges’ Environmental Resilience and Sustainability initiative.

Citron Recognized for Scholarship on Privacy

School of Law professor Danielle Citron received the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ 2024 Privacy Leadership Award at the Global Privacy Summit on April 2.

Danielle Citron, smiling with a tan building in the background

The International Association of Privacy Professionals is the latest organization to recognize the internet privacy work of law professor Danielle Citron. (Contributed photo)

The award recognizes an individual or organization demonstrating an ongoing commitment to furthering privacy policy, promoting recognition of privacy issues and advancing the growth and visibility of the profession, according to the association. Citron previously won the association’s award for best paper in 2016 and 2014.

Citron, who co-directs the school’s LawTech Center, is author of the books “The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age” and “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace.” She is the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Schenck Distinguished Professor in Law, and the Caddell and Chapman Professor of Law.

Rising Latin America Expert Receives Major Fellowship

Cole Riziki smiling

Cole Rizki, an assistant professor of Latin American studies, received a prestigious early career fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. (Contributed photo)

Cole Rizki, an assistant professor of Latin American studies, is among 60 recipients of 2024 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships.

The ACLS Fellowship Program supports scholars poised to make original and significant contributions to any field of the humanities or interpretive social sciences. In 2024, the program is awarding more than $3.6 million to scholars selected from 1,100 applicants through a multi-stage peer review process.

This year, the council reserved the fellowships for early career, untenured scholars, providing up to $60,000 to support them for six to 12 months of sustained research and writing.

Rizki’s book project, “Travesti Tide: Trans Politics Beyond Liberalism,” will examine “Argentine travesti politics and aesthetics to bring the study of democracy and its illiberal correlates to the forefront of transexual studies.” The book project will establish “a new historical and cultural interpretation of trans politics as a response to illiberal state violence and its forms.”

With the support of the ACLS fellowship, Rizki also is guest-editing a special issue of NACLA: Report on the Americas, slated for release in March 2025, that will be dedicated to trans and queer activism and resistance struggles across the Americas.

Mete Civelek Inducted into the 2024 Class of the AIMBE College of Fellows

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering recently inducted Mete Civelek, associate professor of biomedical engineering, into its College of Fellows.

According to the announcement, election to the College of Fellows is “among the highest professional distinctions accorded to medical and biological engineers.”

Biomedical engineer Mete Civelek

Biomedical engineer Mete Civelek was inducted to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows. (Contributed photo)

Peers elected Civelek “for pioneering contributions to cardiovascular systems genetics, leading to identifying novel molecular pathways as therapeutic targets for cardiometabolic disorders.”

An induction ceremony was held March 25 in Arlington. Civelek was among 163 new inductees, representing more than 30 countries.

Federalist Society Honors Law Professor

The Federalist Society presented School of Law professor Aditya Bamzai with its 2024 Joseph Story Award at the society’s National Student Symposium at Harvard Law School on March 9.

Law professor Aditya Bamzai standing in front of dark greenery

Law professor Aditya Bamzai earned the Federalist Society’s top award for a junior faculty member. (Photo by Dan Addison, University Communications)

The award goes to junior faculty members who demonstrate excellence in legal scholarship, a commitment to teaching, a concern for students and who make “significant public impact in a manner that advances the rule of law in a free society,” according to the society.

On March 27, Bamzai, the Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law, delivered Harvard Law School’s annual Scalia Lecture, “Statutory Interpretation and the Separation of Powers,” in which he argued that the Supreme Court should create an analytical structure for lower courts to follow when deciding whether to defer to administrative agencies.

Media Contact

Dan Heuchert

Assistant Director of University News and Chief Copy Editor, UVA Today Office of University Communications