The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases

 Yujie Lu, PhD

Yujie Lu, PhD

Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Imaging


Currently, Dr. Lu leads the development of optical tomography in the Center for Molecular Imaging (CMI). Prior to joining CMI, he completed his postdoctoral training in the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, UCLA, where he was devoted to developing a novel multimodal Optical-PET(OPET) imaging system. Dr. Lu acquired his Ph.D. Degree in the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. His Ph.D. project is to develop a multimodal bioluminescence tomography imaging system with support of the National Basic Research Program of China.

One of his research interests is to develop the simulated and experimental strategies and platforms to assess and optimize the optical imaging systems. Recent progress is a fully parallel adaptive finite element simplified spherical harmonics approximation solver and a fast convolution-based Monte Carlo simulator for time-dependent small animal fluorescence imaging. He also exploits the state-of-art imaging theory and methods and acceleration techniques to develop the fast, robust, and accurate optical tomography. The developed linear regularization-free high-order approximation reconstruction algorithm has been applied in the tri-modality (Optical/PET/CT) optical imaging system. He further performs pre-clinical imaging research with the developed tomography imaging system and translates relevant methodology to the clinical. Recent research is to make use of dual-labeled (Optical/PET) near-infrared exogenous antibody agent and the new-emerging far-red fluorescent gene reporters to monitor the development of prostate cancer and lymph node metastasis for cancer node staging.


  • Develop the photon propagation simulation platform using Monte Carlo methods and radiative transfer-based models;
  • Develop the fast, robust and accurate reconstruction algorithms for the multimodal time-dependent fluorescence imaging system;
  • Develop fluorescence gene reporter tomography to monitor the development of prostate cancer and relevant metastasis;
  • Perform multimodal fluorescence tomography for BMP2-based ossification for spinal fusion;
  • Perform cancer staging research using the developed fluorescence tomography in the clinical trials.


  1. Darne, C.D.*, Lu, Y. *, Tan, I. *, Zhu, B., Rasmussen, J.C., Smith, A.M., Yan, S. and Sevick-Muraca, E.M. “A Compact Frequency-domain Photon Migration System for Integration Into Commercial Hybrid Small Animal Imaging Scanners for Fluorescence Tomography”, Physics in Medicine and Biology, 57:8135-8152, 2012 (“*”: equal contribution)
  2. Zhang, X., Lu, Y., and Chan, T.F., “A Novel Sparsity Reconstruction Method from Poisson Data for 3D Bioluminescence Tomography,” Journal of Scientific Computing, 50(3), 519-535 (2012).
  3. Lu, Y., Machado, H.B., Bao, Q., Stout, D., Herschman, H., and Chatziioannou, A.F., “In vivo Mouse Bioluminescence Tomography with Radionuclide-Based Imaging Validation,” Molecular Imaging and Biology, 13:53-58, 2011.
  4. Lu, Y., Zhu, B., Darne, C., Tan, I., Rasmussen, J.C., and Sevick-Muraca, E.M., “Improvement of Fluorescence-enhanced Optical Tomography with Improved Optical Filtering and Accurate Model-based Reconstruction Algorithms,” Journal of Biomedical Optics, 16:126002, 2011.
  5. Lu, Y., Zhu, B., Shen, H., Rasmussen, J.C., Wang, G., and Sevick-Muraca, E.M., “A Parallel Adaptive Finite Element Simplified Spherical Harmonics Approximation Solver for Frequency Domain Fluorescence Molecular Imaging,” Physics in Medicine and Biology, 55:4625-4645, 2010. (Featured Article and Highlights of 2010)
  6. Lu, Y., Machado, H.B., Douraghy, A., Stout, D., Herschman, H.  and Chatziioannou, A.F., “Experimental Bioluminescence Tomography with Fully Parallel Radiative-transfer-based Reconstruction Framework," Optics Express, 17, 16681-16695 (2009).
  7. Lu, Y., Douraghy, A., Machado, H.B., Stout, D., Tian, J., Herschman, H.  and Chatziioannou, A.F., “Spectrally-resolved Bioluminescence Tomography with the Third-order Simplified Spherical Harmonics Approximation," Physics in Medicine and Biology, 54, 6477-6493 (2009).
  8. Lu, Y., Zhang, X., Douraghy, A., Stout, D., Tian, J., Chan, T.F. and Chatziioannou, A.F., “Source Reconstruction for Spectrally-resolved Bioluminescence Tomography with Sparse A priori Information," Optics Express, 17, 8062-8080 (2009).
  9. Lv, Y., Tian, J., Cong, W., Wang, G., Yang, W., Xu, M., and Qin, C., “Spectrally Resolved Bioluminescence Tomography with Adaptive Finite Element: Methodology and Simulation," Physics in Medicine and Biology, 52, 4497-4512 (2007).
  10. Lv, Y., Tian, J., Cong, W., Wang, G., Luo, J., Yang, W., and Li, H., “A Multilevel Adaptive Finite Element Algorithm For Bioluminescence Tomography," Optics Express, 14, 8211-8223 (2006).


Research of Dr. Y. Lu

Algorithm: Mesh partitioning of digital mouse (MOBY) for photon propagation simulation in a fully parallel adaptive finite element radiative-transfer-based frequency-domain fluorescent photon propagation simulator;

System: The tri-modal frequency-domain fluorescence tomography imaging system developed in the CMI in collaboration with Siemens. The linear regularization-free high-order approximation reconstruction algorithm has been applied to implement tomographic reconstruction;

Application: Multimodal fluorescence tomography for primary orthotopic prostate cancer using the dual-labeled Optical/PET agent ((64Cu-NODAGA)–anti-EpCAM – (IRDye800)).