Kenro Kusumi is professor and interim director of the School of Life Sciences and associate dean of research and graduate initiatives in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He received his BA from Harvard University and PhD from MIT, and he carried out postdoctoral training at the National Institute for Medical Research in London. Prior to coming to ASU, Professor Kusumi taught at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he served as director of pediatric orthopaedic basic research. At ASU, he has served as director of the molecular and cellular biology interdisciplinary graduate program and interim associate director of graduate programs in the School of Life Sciences. Professor Kusumi is also adjunct faculty at The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in downtown Phoenix, and he helped to launch the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix in 2006, where he continues as faculty in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences.
Research of the Kusumi Lab focuses on using genomic technologies to address biomedical and environmental challenges, funded regularly by the NIH, the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission, and private foundations. His group together with ASU colleagues and external partners have established ASU as a center for studies of regeneration, focusing on understanding the ability of reptiles to regrow appendages and complex tissues including the spinal cord, cartilage, blood vessels, and muscle. Continuing earlier work, Professor Kusumi focuses on the interplay between genes and environment in developmental disorders such as scoliosis. Recently, his group and ASU colleagues have used next-generation technologies to decipher the genome of the desert tortoise, a hallmark species of the southwest that is threatened with habitat loss and disease.