Principal Investigators

Meaghan O’Reilly, PhD

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room C7 36a
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5


• B.Sc., 2007, mechanical engineering, Queen’s University, Canada

• M.Sc., 2008, biomedical engineering, University of Oxford, U.K.

• PhD, 2012, applied physics, University of Eastern Finland, Finland

 Appointments and Affiliations:

Scientist,Physical SciencesHolland Bone and Joint Research Program, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Assistant professor, department of medical biophysics, University of Toronto

Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Ultrasound, Tier 2

 Research Foci:

• Therapeutic ultrasound

• Targeted drug delivery

• Monitoring and control of ultrasound therapy

Research Summary:

Dr. O’Reilly’s research has focused on developing systems and methods to deliver, monitor and control ultrasound therapy. In particular, she has investigated ways to map and control microbubble activity during targeted drug delivery in the brain.

Her current research interests include the investigation of cavitation-mediated therapies and the adaptation of existing ultrasound therapy techniques to new treatment targets.



  1. O’Reilly MA, Hynynen K. The mechanical potential of ultrasound on nervous tissue. J Acoust Soc Am. 2021 Jun;149(6):R11. doi: 10.1121/10.0005066.
  2. Fletcher S-MP, Choi M, Ramesh R, O’Reilly MA. Focused Ultrasound-Induced Blood-Spinal Cord Barrier Opening using Short-Burst Phase Keying Exposures in Rats: A Parameter Study. Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. 2021 Jul;47(7):1747-1760. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2021.03.007.
  3. McMahon D, O’Reilly MA, Hynynen K. Therapeutic Agent Delivery Across the Blood-Brain Barrier Using Focused Ultrasound. Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering. 2021 Jul 13;23:89-113. doi: 10.1146/annurev-bioeng-062117-121238. Epub 2021 Mar 22.
  4. Smith, P, Ogronik N, Satkunarajah J, O’Reilly MA. Characterization of Ultrasound-Mediated Delivery of Trastuzumab to Normal and Pathologic Spinal Cord Tissue. Scientific Reports. 2021. Feb 24;11(1):4412. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-83874-xFactor: 3.998
  5. Lynch M, Heinen S, Markham-Coultes K, O’Reilly M, Van Slyke P, Dumont DJ, Hynynen K, Aubert I. Vasculotide restores the blood-brain barrier after focused ultrasound-induced permeability in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. International Journal of Medical Sciences. 2021


  1. Lea-Banks H, O’Reilly MA, Hamani C, Hynynen K. Localized anesthesia of a specific brain region using ultrasound-responsive barbiturate nanodroplets. Theranostics. 2020 Feb 3;10(6):2849-2858. doi: 10.7150/thno.41566. eCollection 2020. PubMed PMID: 32194839; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7052887.
  2. Kooiman K, Roovers S, Langeveld SAG, Kleven RT, Dewitte H, O’Reilly MA, Escoffre JM, Bouakaz A, Verweij MD, Hynynen K, Lentacker I, Stride E, Holland CK. Ultrasound-Responsive Cavitation Nuclei for Therapy and Drug Delivery. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 Jun;46(6):1296-1325. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.01.002. Epub 2020 Mar 10. Review. PubMed PMID: 32165014.
  3. Christensen-Jeffries K, Couture O, Dayton PA, Eldar YC, Hynynen K, Kiessling F, O’Reilly M, Pinton GF, Schmitz G, Tang MX, Tanter M, van Sloun RJG. Super-resolution Ultrasound Imaging. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 Apr;46(4):865-891. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2019.11.013. Epub 2020 Jan 21. Review. PubMed PMID: 31973952.
  4. Fletcher SP, Ogrodnik N, O’Reilly MA. Enhanced Detection of Bubble Emissions Through the Intact Spine for Monitoring Ultrasound-Mediated Blood-Spinal Cord Barrier Opening. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2020 May;67(5):1387-1396. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2019.2936972. Epub 2019 Aug 22. PubMed PMID: 31442968.


  1. O’Reilly MA, Hynynen K. Ultrasound and Microbubble-Mediated Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption for Targeted Delivery of Therapeutics to the Brain. Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1831:111-119. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8661-3_9. PubMed PMID: 30051428.
  2. Foroozan F, O’Reilly MA, Hynynen K. Microbubble Localization for Three-Dimensional Superresolution Ultrasound Imaging Using Curve Fitting and Deconvolution Methods. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2018 Dec;65(12):2692-2703. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2018.2813759. Epub 2018 Mar 8. PubMed PMID: 29993387; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6459186.
  3. O’Reilly MA, Chinnery T, Yee ML, Wu SK, Hynynen K, Kerbel RS, Czarnota GJ, Pritchard KI, Sahgal A. Preliminary Investigation of Focused Ultrasound-Facilitated Drug Delivery for the Treatment of Leptomeningeal Metastases. Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 13;8(1):9013. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-27335-y. PubMed PMID: 29899537; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5998139.
  4. Jones RM, Deng L, Leung K, McMahon D, O’Reilly MA, Hynynen K. Three-dimensional transcranial microbubble imaging for guiding volumetric ultrasound-mediated blood-brain barrier opening. Theranostics. 2018 Apr 16;8(11):2909-2926. doi: 10.7150/thno.24911. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29896293; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5996357.
  5. Alli S, Figueiredo CA, Golbourn B, Sabha N, Wu MY, Bondoc A, Luck A, Coluccia D, Maslink C, Smith C, Wurdak H, Hynynen K, O’Reilly M, Rutka JT. Brainstem blood brain barrier disruption using focused ultrasound: A demonstration of feasibility and enhanced doxorubicin delivery. J Control Release. 2018 Jul 10;281:29-41. doi:10.1016/j.jconrel.2018.05.005. Epub 2018 May 16. PubMed PMID: 29753957; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6026028.
  6. Coluccia D, Figueiredo CA, Wu MY, Riemenschneider AN, Diaz R, Luck A, Smith C, Das S, Ackerley C, O’Reilly M, Hynynen K, Rutka JT. Enhancing glioblastoma treatment using cisplatin-gold-nanoparticle conjugates and targeted delivery with magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound. Nanomedicine. 2018 Jun;14(4):1137-1148. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2018.01.021. Epub 2018 Feb 20. PubMed PMID: 29471172.
  7. Liu M, Jevtic S, Markham-Coultes K, Ellens NPK, O’Reilly MA, Hynynen K, Aubert I, McLaurin J. Investigating the efficacy of a combination Aβ-targeted treatment in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Brain Res. 2018 Jan 1;1678:138-145. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2017.10.015. Epub 2017 Oct 21. PubMed PMID: 29066368.


  1. O’Reilly MA, Jones RM, Barrett E, Schwab A, Head E, Hynynen K. Investigation of the Safety of Focused Ultrasound-Induced Blood-Brain Barrier Opening in a Natural Canine Model of Aging. Theranostics. 2017 Aug 22;7(14):3573-3584. doi: 10.7150/thno.20621. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28912896; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5596444.
  2.  Acconcia CN, Jones RM, Goertz DE, O’Reilly MA, Hynynen K. Megahertz rate, volumetric imaging of bubble clouds in sonothrombolysis using a sparse hemispherical receiver array. Phys Med Biol. 2017 Sep 5;62(18):L31-L40. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aa84d7. PubMed PMID: 28786395.
  3. O’Reilly MA, Hough O, Hynynen K. Blood-Brain Barrier Closure Time After Controlled Ultrasound-Induced Opening Is Independent of Opening Volume. J Ultrasound Med. 2017 Mar;36(3):475-483. doi: 10.7863/ultra.16.02005. Epub 2017 Jan 21. PubMed PMID: 28108988; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5319892.


  1. Deng L, O’Reilly MA, Jones RM, An R, Hynynen K. A multi-frequency sparse hemispherical ultrasound phased array for microbubble-mediated transcranial therapy and simultaneous cavitation mapping. Phys Med Biol. 2016 Dec 21;61(24):8476-8501. Epub 2016 Nov 15. PubMed PMID: 27845920; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5135599.
  2. O’Reilly MA, Jones RM, Birman G, Hynynen K. Registration of human skull computed tomography data to an ultrasound treatment space using a sparse high frequency ultrasound hemispherical array. Med Phys. 2016 Sep;43(9):5063. doi: 10.1118/1.4960362. PubMed PMID: 27587036; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4982873.