Lev T. Perelman is Professor at Harvard University and Director of the Center for Advanced Biomedical Imaging and Photonics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Prior to that he was Principal Scientist and Group Head at MIT.
Perelman’s research interests are primarily focused on application of optics to medicine and biology. His group pioneered biomedical light scattering spectroscopy (LSS) for noninvasive detection of early precancerous changes in epithelial tissues and tissue characterization on subcellular scale (Phys. Rev. Lett. 1998, Nature 2000, Nature Medicine 2001, Nature Medicine 2010, Nature Biomed. Eng. 2017).
Back at MIT, he worked with K. Kneipp to demonstrate single molecule detection using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) (Phys. Rev. Lett. 1997, a Citation Classics with 5,500+ citations) and, in collaboration with I. Itzkan, explained ablation stress confinement, one of the three basic mechanisms of laser ablation (PNAS 1995). He also worked with J. Marshall on the development of the first non-hydrostatic model of the ocean, MIT General Circulation Model.
Perelman’s group developed confocal light absorption and scattering spectroscopic (CLASS) microscopy for functional imaging of live cells without the need for exogenous contrast agents (PNAS 2007), and recently employed it to demonstrate that subcellular exosomes promote tumorigenesis (Cancer Cell 2014). He and his colleagues also solved a long-standing problem in photon transport in turbid media, discovering an analytical solution for the diffusion approximation near the point of entry (Nature Commun. 2011).
Perelman was a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Joint Working Group charged with setting up funding priorities in oncologic imaging in the U.S. for the past decade. He was elected to serve as the General Chair of the 2012 Optical Society of America Biomedical Optics and 3-D Imaging Congress. He is also a recipient of the National Science Foundation Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Award given to global leaders in interdisciplinary research.
Perelman has mentored 28 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at MIT and Harvard, with 11 of them becoming professors at Harvard, Northwestern, Princeton, and other universities.