Elisa E. Konofagou


351 Engineering Terrace
Mail Code 8904

Tel(212) 342-0863
Fax(212) 342-1618

Elisa E. Konofagou designs and develops ultrasound-based technologies for automated estimation of tissue mechanics as well as drug delivery and therapeutics. Her group has worked on the design of algorithms that can estimate minute deformation as a result of physiological function, such as in the heart and vessels, and displacements induced by the ultrasound wave itself, such as in tumors and nerves, while she maintains several collaborations with physicians in order to translate these technologies to the clinical setting. She has also developed novel techniques in order to facilitate noninvasive brain drug delivery as well as modulation of both the central and peripheral nervous systems. 

Research Interests

Ultrasound imaging, elasticity imaging, soft tissue biomechanics, neuromodulation, drug delivery.

Of particular interest to Konofagou are high-precision speckle tracking techniques that allow estimation of mechanical and electromechanical motion in soft tissues in vivo such as the heart, the aorta, the carotid, the breast, and the pancreas. Strain estimation is optimized and related to the underlying mechanical properties of the tissues in vivo.  Her group has pioneered methods such as Myocardial Elastography, Electromechanical Wave Imaging, Pulse Wave Imaging, and Harmonic Motion Imaging for the noninvasive early detection and screening of the early onset of cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction as well as detection, monitoring, and generation of ablative therapy for noninvasive, extracorporeal tumor treatment, respectively. Her work encompasses unveiling of the mechanism of ultrasound-induced opening of the blood-brain barrier for facilitation of noninvasive and localized brain drug delivery while developing novel methodologies for noninvasive and deep brain stimulation as well as peripheral nerve modulation for the treatment of psychiatric and motor neuron diseases.

Konofagou received a BS in chemical physics from Université de Paris 6 in 1992, a MS in biomedical engineering from Imperial College (London, UK) in 1993 and a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Houston in 1999.   She is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and in 2007 she received the NSF CAREER Award.


  • Postdoctoral fellow, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 1999-2003


  • Robert and Margaret Hariri Professor of biomedical engineering, Columbia University, 2016–
  • Professor of radiology, Columbia University, 2014-
  • Professor of biomedical engineering, Columbia University, 2014-
  • Graduate Chair of biomedical engineering, Columbia University, 2015–2020
  • Associate professor of radiology, Columbia University, 2009–2013
  • Associate professor of biomedical engineering, Columbia University, 2009–2013
  • Assistant professor of radiology, Columbia University, 2003–2009
  • Assistant professor of biomedical engineering, Columbia University, 2003–2009
  • Instructor, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2002-2003  


  • Acoustical Society of America
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
  • American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • IEEE Society for Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
  • IEEE in Engineering in Medicine and Biology


  • National Academy of Medicine, 2021
  • Bodossaki Foundation Award of Scientific Excellence in Applied Science, 2017
  • Fellow, Acoustical Society of America, 2017
  • Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, 2014
  • Nagy Award by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering – NIH, 2007
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2007
  • New Investigator Award, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, 2006
  • Young Investigator Award, Acoustical Society of America, 2002


  • Grondin J, Waase M, Gambhir A, Bunting E, Sayseng V, Konofagou EE. Evaluation of Coronary Artery Disease Using Myocardial Elastography with Diverging Wave Imaging: Validation against Myocardial Perfusion Imaging and Coronary Angiography. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2017 Feb 28. pii: S0301-5629(17)30007-8.
  • Wang Shutao, Amanda Buch, Camilo Acosta, Oluyemi Olumolade, Syed, H, Duff K, Elisa Konofagou, Non-invasive, Focused Ultrasound-Facilitated Gene Delivery for Optogenetics, Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 6;7:39955.
  • Bunting E., Lambrakos L., Kemper P., Whang W., Garan H., Konofagou E.E., Imaging the propagation of the electromechanical wave in heart failure patients with cardiac resynchronization therapy, Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 40(1):35-45, 2017.
  • Kamimura HA, Wang S, Chen H, Wang Q, Aurup C, Acosta C, Carneiro AA, Konofagou EE. Focused ultrasound neuromodulation of cortical and subcortical brain structures using 1.9 MHz. Med Phys. 2016 Oct;43(10):5730.
  • Wu SY, Sanchez CS, Samiotaki G, Buch A, Ferrera VP, Konofagou EE. Characterizing Focused-Ultrasound Mediated Drug Delivery to the Heterogeneous Primate Brain In Vivo with Acoustic Monitoring. Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 17;6:37094.
  • Payen T, Palermo CT, Sastra S, Chen H, Yang H, Olive KP and Konofagou E.E.,  Elasticity mapping of murine abdominal organs in vivo using harmonic motion imaging (HMI), Physics in Medicine & Biology, 2016 Jul 12;61(15):5741-5754.
  • McGarry, M., Li, R., Apostolakis, I., Nauleau, P., & Konofagou, E. E. An inverse approach to determining spatially varying arterial compliance using ultrasound imaging. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 61(15), 5486-5507, 2016
  • Nandlall S and Konofagou E.E., Assessing the Stability of Aortic Aneurysms with Pulse Wave Imaging, Radiology, Radiology. 2016 Jun 8:151407.
  • Han Y, Wang S, Hibshoosh H, Taback B, Konofagou E. Tumor characterization and treatment monitoring of postsurgical human breast specimens using harmonic motion imaging (HMI). Breast Cancer Res. 2016 May 9;18(1):46
  • Apostolakis I-Z, Sacha D. Nandlall, Elisa E. Konofagou, Adaptive stiffness mapping in murine atherosclerotic and aneurysmal aortas using Pulse Wave Imaging (PWI) in vivo, IEEE Trans. Med. Imag. 35(1):13-28, 2016.
  • Chen H, Konofagou EE. The size of blood-brain barrier opening induced by focused ultrasound is dictated by the acoustic pressure. Journal of cerebral blood flow and. 2014;34(7):1197-204.
  • Choi J., Selert K., Vlachos F., Wong A., and Konofagou E.E., Noninvasive and localized neuronal delivery using short ultrasonic pulses and microbubbles, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) 108(40), 16539-16544, 2011.
  • Provost J, Lee W-N, Fujikura K, and Konofagou E.E., Imaging the Electromechanical Activity of the Heart In Vivo, Proc. Nat.Acad. Sci, 108(21):8565-70, 2011.