2022 Thayer Investiture

Stephen Chad Kanick

Stephen Chad Kanick

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Engineering

Senior Engineer, Profusa


My research focuses on the use of biophotonics to develop better methods to diagnose and treat cancer. Much of my work develops approaches that utilize the complex interactions of light with tissue to determine aspects of tissue function and structure. This work has translated into clinical investigations that characterize patient-specific response to therapies, guide surgical removal of cancer, and characterize suspicious tissue to determine the presence of cancer.

Research Interests

Optics in Medicine; quantitative spectroscopy; Monte Carlo modeling of light transport in tissue; monitoring patient response to administered therapies; image-based cancer diagnostics; photodynamic therapy; pharmacokinetic and physiological modeling


  • BS, Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University 2002
  • MS, Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh 2004
  • PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh 2008


  • Mentored Quantitative Research Career Development Award from National Cancer Institute / National Institute of Health (2013)

Professional Activities

  • International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE)
  • Optical Society of America (OSA)
  • American Society for Photobiology (ASP)

Selected Publications

  • Tichauer KM, Samkoe KS, Gunn JR, Kanick SC, Hoopes PJ, Barh RJ, Kaufman PA, Hasan T, Pogue BW. Quantitative imaging of cancer receptors in lymph nodes with a dual-tracer technique reveals microscopic burden level with macroscopic measurement. Nat Med; 20, pp 1348–1353(2014).
  • Kanick SC, McClatchy III DM, Krishnaswamy V, Elliott JT, Paulsen KD, Pogue BW. Sub-diffusive scattering parameter maps recovered using wide-field high-frequency structured light imaging. Biomed Opt Exp 5: 3376-3390 (2014).
  • Kanick SC, Tichauer KM, Gunn J, Samkoe KS, Pogue BW. Pixel-based correction for dual- tracer fluorescence imaging of receptor binding. Biomed Opt Exp 5:3280-3291 (2014).
  • Kanick SC*, Davis SC*, Zhao Y, Hasan T, Maytin EV, Pogue BW, Chapman MS. Dual channel red/blue fluorescence dosimetry with broadband reflectance spectroscopic correction measures protoporphyrin IX production during photodynamic therapy of actinic keratosis. J Biomed Opt 19:075002 (2014). (*Both authors contributed equally)
  • Glaser AK, Kanick SC, Zhang R, Arce P, Pogue BW. A GAMOS plug-in for GEANT4 based Monte Carlo simulation of radiation-induced light transport in biological media. Biomed Opt Exp 4: 7411-759 (2013).
  • Kanick SC, Krishnaswamy V, Gamm UA, Sterenborg HJCM, Robinson DJ, Amelink A, Pogue BW. Scattering phase function spectrum makes reflectance spectrum measured from Intralipid phantoms and tissue sensitive to the device detection geometry. Biomed Opt Exp 3: 1086-1100 (2012).
  • Kanick SC, Robinson, DJ, Sterenborg, HJCM, Amelink, A. Extraction of intrinsic fluorescence from single fiber fluorescence measurements on a turbid medium. Opt Lett 37: 948-950 (2012).
  • Kanick, SC, Robinson, DJ, Sterenborg, HJCM, Amelink, A. Semi-empirical model of the effect of scattering on single fiber fluorescence intensity measured on a turbid medium. Biomed Opt Exp 3: 137-152 (2011)
  • Kanick SC, Gamm U, Sterenborg HJCM, Robinson DJ, Amelink A. Method to quantitatively estimate wavelength-dependent scattering properties from multi-diameter single fiber reflectance spectra measured in a turbid medium. Opt Lett 36: 2997-2999 (2011)
  • Kanick SC, van der Leest C, Djmin RS, Janssens AM, Hoogsteden HC, Sterenborg HJCM, Amelink A, Aerts JG. Characterization of mediastinal lymph node physiology in vivo by optical spectroscopy during endoscopic ultrasound-guided fie needle aspiration (EUS-FNA). J Thor Oncol 5: 988-992 (2010) * indicates both authors contributed equally.
  • Kanick SC, van der Leest C, Aerts JGJV, Hoogsteden HC, Kascakova S, Sterenborg HJCM, Amelink A. Integration of single fiber reflectance spectroscopy into ultrasound-guided endoscopic lung cancer staging of mediastinal lymph nodes. J Biomed Opt 15: 017004 (2010)
  • Kanick SC, Robinson DJ, Sterenborg HJCM, Amelink A. Monte Carlo analysis of single fiber reflectance spectroscopy: photon path length and sampling depth. Phys Med Biol 54:6991-7008 (2009)