Dr. Kumar’s research is focused on development and translation of novel biomedical optical techniques for preclinical and clinical applications. He has more than 15 years of experience in theory, modeling and experimental aspects of biological optical imaging. Over the past decade, his group has advanced several novel concepts for optical molecular imaging using time-domain fluorescence tomography, specifically exploiting fluorescence lifetime as a contrast mechanism. They have validated this technology for the longitudinal tracking of cancer metastasis with greater sensitivity than currently possible in whole living mice. In addition to preclinical research, they are applying time-domain technology for image guidance during liver and head and neck cancer surgery. They are also actively working towards commercialization of recently patented innovations in their laboratory.

Dr. Kumar is actively involved in collaborations with biochemists, biologists and clinicians for optimizing and applying this technology to address challenging questions related to cancer, cardiac disease and neuropathology. In 2009, he demonstrated the first use of fluorescence lifetime contrast to enhance the sensitivity of whole-body imaging using fluorescent proteins in the visible region from intact living mice (Kumar et al., Opt. Lett, 2009). In 2012, he led a collaborative project that demonstrated the first application of fluorescence lifetime contrast in mouse models of heart disease (Goergen et al., J. Biomed. Opt, 2012). In 2015, he and his group demonstrated the first tomographic optical imaging of disseminated metastasis in live mouse lungs using fluorescence lifetime detection of near-infrared fluorescent proteins (Rice, W. L. et al., Cancer Res. 2015). More recently, they demonstrated the high accuracy for tumor detection in ICG-labelled tumors in mice using fluorescence lifetime contrast (Kumar, ATN, et. al., J. Biomed. Opt. 2017). His laboratory is currently involved in pilot clinical trials for lifetime-based margin assessment during surgical resection of head and neck and liver cancers.


PhD in Physics, Northeastern University

Select Publications

1. Kumar ATN, Hou SS. Tomographic phosphorescence lifetime multiplexing. Opt Lett. 2018 Jul 1;43(13):3104-3107.

2. Kumar ATN, Hou SS, Rice WL. Tomographic fluorescence lifetime multiplexing in  the spatial frequency domain. Optica. 2018 May;5(5):624-627.

3. Funane T, Hou SS, Zoltowska KM, van Veluw SJ, Berezovska O, Kumar ATN, Bacskai BJ. Selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) with time domain fluorescence  lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) for volumetric measurement of cleared mouse brain samples. Rev Sci Instrum. 2018 May;89(5):053705.


2018: Anand T. N. Kumar, Steven S. Hou and William L. Rice, “Tomographic fluorescence lifetime multiplexing in the spatial frequency domain,” Optica 5(5), 624-627.

2015: William L. Rice, Daria Shcherbakova, Vladislav Verkhusha and Anand T. N. Kumar, “In vivo tomographic imaging of deep seated cancer using fluorescence lifetime contrast,” Cancer Research, Vol. 75 (7), pp 1236-43

2016: Anand T.N. Kumar, Scott B. Raymond, Gregory Boverman, David A. Boas and Brian J. Bacskai,”Time resolved fluorescence tomography based on lifetime contrast,” Opt. Express 14 12255.


Optical Molecular Imaging Laboratory