Vanderbilt University
Institute of Imaging Science

Kenny Tao, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Vanderbilt Institute in Surgery and Engineering

Contact Information


My lab develops novel optical imaging systems for clinical diagnostics and therapeutic monitoring in ophthalmology, gastroenterology, and oncology.


Biomedical optics enable noninvasive subcellular visualization of tissue morphology, biological dynamics, and disease pathogenesis. Ongoing research in my lab focuses on clinical translation of therapeutic tools for image-guided intraoperative feedback using modalities including optical coherence tomography and nonlinear microscopy. My lab has also developed optical imaging techniques that exploit intrinsic functional contrast for in vivo monitoring of blood flow and oxygenation as surrogate biomarkers of cellular metabolism and early indicators of disease. The majority of my research involves multidisciplinary collaborations between investigators in engineering, basic sciences, and medicine.


Malone, J. D., El-Haddad, M. T., Bozic, I., Tye, L. A., Majeau, L., Godbout, N., Rollins, A. M., Boudoux, C., Joos, K. M., Patel, S. N., and Tao, Y. K., "Simultaneous multimodal ophthalmic imaging using swept-source spectrally encoded scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and optical coherence tomography," Biomed. Opt. Express 8, 193-206 (2017)

Tao, Y. K., Srivastava, S. K., and Ehlers, J. P., "Microscope-integrated intraoperative oct with electrically tunable focus and heads-up display for imaging of ophthalmic surgical maneuvers," Biomedical optics express (Featured Cover) 5, 1877-1885 (2014).

Ehlers, J. P., Srivastava, S. K., Feiler, D., Noonan, A. I., Rollins, A. M., and Tao, Y. K., "Integrative advances for oct-guided ophthalmic surgery and intraoperative oct: Microscope integration, surgical instrumentation, and heads-up display surgeon feedback," PloS one 9, e105224 (2014).

Tao, Y. K., Shen, D., Sheikine, Y., Ahsen, O. O., Wang, H. H., Schmolze, D. B., Johnson, N. B., Brooker, J. S., Cable, A. E., Connolly, J. L., and Fujimoto, J. G., "Assessment of breast pathologies using nonlinear microscopy," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111, 15304-15309 (2014).

Tao, Y. K., Kennedy, K. M., and Izatt, J. A., "Velocity-resolved 3d retinal microvessel imaging using single-pass flow imaging spectral domain optical coherence tomography," Optics express 17, 4177-4188 (2009).