Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
Biological imaging with time domain fluorescence
Molecular imaging combines the use of disease targeted contrast agents with advanced imaging techniques to visualize disease processes in whole living organisms from the small animal to the human scale. Optical techniques are emerging as promising tools for molecular imaging by providing functional contrast, and are particularly attractive given the spectral and fluorescence lifetime tunability of near infrared fluorophores. This allows the exciting possibility of multiplexing using fluorescence spectral and lifetime contrast.
My laboratory is focused on the development and application of whole-body time domain imaging techniques, with emphasis on exploiting lifetime contrast for enhanced sensitivity and specificity of disease detection in vivo. Although fluorescence lifetime imaging has been widely used in microscopy using fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), the application of lifetime imaging for macroscopic subjects has been limited by several challenges. This presentation will outline some of these challenges and how they can be addressed using theoretical and experimental methods for time domain imaging. In particular, I will discuss a novel algorithm for tomographic lifetime multiplexing which allows the complete separation and 3-D localization of multiple lifetimes simultaneously present within biological tissue. Recent extensions of this work to the spatial frequency domain using modulated sources will also be discussed. I will then present in vivo applications of the technology pertaining to cancer and cardiac disease models. I will finally discuss our recent progress towards clinical applications of fluorescence lifetime imaging for cancer detection.
Anand Kumar is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Kumar received his M.Sc. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India and Ph. D. from Northeastern University, Boston, both in Physics. Following his doctoral work on ultrafast laser spectroscopy, he worked in Sycamore Networks as a Senior Optical Engineer for 2 years, where he designed commercial fiber optic networks. Subsequently, he moved to the Athinoula A. Martinos center in 2002 as a post-doctoral fellow and joined the faculty of the center as an Instructor in 2007 and Assistant Professor in 2012. His current research focus is on preclinical and clinical applications of diffuse optical tomography and optical molecular imaging, with particular emphasis on time domain imaging techniques.
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