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Dillon, Christopher

Dr. Christopher Dillon


Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University, 2021-Present

Senior Computer Scientist, Thermal Sciences and Engineering, Sandia National

Laboratories, 2018-2021

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences,

University of Utah, 2014-2017

PhD, Bioengineering, University of Utah, 2014

BS, Mechanical Engineering, Brigham Young University, 2009

Cancer Research

My research interests include magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS)

surgery, an emerging approach to treating cancer and other diseases. This non-invasive

therapy involves the focusing of ultrasound waves inside a tumor that quickly increase the local

tissue temperature and induce protein coagulation and necrosis without damaging nearby

healthy tissues. MRI is used for treatment guidance via non-invasive temperature monitoring.

In the BYU Bioheat Transfer Laboratory, we are developing methods for non-invasive and

temperature-dependent characterization of tissue properties used as inputs to acoustic and

thermal simulations for MRgFUS model-based treatment planning. Better properties lead to

improved modeling and, in turn, greater treatment efficacy. We strive to make our simulations

accurate and computationally efficient, running fast enough to be useful in the clinical setting,

through reduced order modeling (ROM), high performance computing, and parallelization. This

research has the potential to advance our understanding of the physics driving unexplained

clinical phenomena, improve simulation capabilities for model-based treatment planning, and

improve treatment outcomes in the growing field of MRgFUS thermal therapies.