UVA Darden Alumna Pursues a New Chapter of Purposeful Work With Focused Ultrasound Foundation

By Jay Hodgkins

University of Virginia Darden School of Business alumna Ann Taylor (MBA ’85) received a call in 2019 from Dr. Neal Kassell, MD, UVA’s former co-chair of neurosurgery, asking her to join the medical technology nonprofit he founded — the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

Accepting the new challenge, Taylor recently shared why she decided to transition from a career in museum and university development to early stage medical technology in a profile on Darden’s Alumni Spotlight.

She had personal reasons to be interested: a young coworker and a close family member had recently died of cancer-related causes. She sensed an opportunity to do meaningful work while learning something new.

“Having purposeful work and making an impact is an important part of who I am,” says Taylor, now chief relationship officer for the Charlottesville-based foundation.

The venture is the global hub for medical research, patient advocacy and education related to focused ultrasound — a highly disruptive, noninvasive therapeutic technology with the potential to transform the treatment of many medical disorders by using ultrasonic energy to target tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. With FDA approval for seven different indications (and 30 regulatory approvals worldwide), the technology is now in various stages of research and development for more than 150 uses, including cancer and neurological disorders such as brain tumors, Alzheimer’s and depression.

Taylor conveys enthusiasm for the clinicians and scientists who are expanding the boundaries of focused ultrasound. “The time it can take for a game-changing, breakthrough medical technology to go from the laboratory bench to widespread patient care can be positively glacial. It can take decades,” she says. “Every month we shave off that process will help improve the lives of literally millions around the world.”

Read the full profile on Darden’s Alumni Spotlight. 

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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