Brian Cullum

Contact Information
Office: MEYR 243B
Phone: 410-455-2833

Professor & Chair

Post-Doctoral Oak Ridge National Laboratory 1999; Ph.D. University of South Carolina 1998; B.S. Frostburg State University 1994

Professional Interests

Bioanalytical and Environmental Spectroscopy

Research in our group involves the development of novel sensing tools and strategies for the monitoring of biological and environmental systems at both the nano- and macro-scales.  On the nano-scale, we are developing implantable sensors capable of being inserted into individual cells and optically positioned for the monitoring of cellular response to various external stimuli.  On the macro-scale, we are developing new spectroscopic techniques for real-time disease (i.e., cancer) diagnosis in clinical and surgical settings.

Selected Publications

  1. (K. S. Machuga), A. Tauraso, M. Kazmi, C.-H. Su, B. M. Cullum, B. R. Arnold, F.-S. Choa, N. S. Prasad and N. B. Singh*, “Effect of High Energy Radiation on Electrical Properties of Synthetic Bone Materials” Int. J. Ceramic Eng. Sci., 1 – 10 (2024). DOI: 10.1002/ces2.10202
  2. (K. S. Machuga), A. Tauraso, M. Kazmi, C.-H. Su, B. M. Cullum, B. R. Arnold, F.-S. Choa, N. S. Prasad and N. B. Singh*, “Effect of High Energy Radiation on Electrical Properties of Synthetic Bone Materials” Int. J. Ceramic Eng. Sci., 1 – 10 (2024). DOI: 10.1002/ces2.10202
  3. (N. B. Singh)*, C.-H. Su, F.-S. Choa, B. R. Arnold, B. M. Cullum and K. D. Mandal, “Morphological Evolution and Transition at Nanoscale in BSTO Ceramic Materials” Ferroelectrics, 611 (1), 268 – 278 (2023).
  4. D. S. Kazal, A. J. Reardon and B. M. Cullum, “THermally-induced Optical Reflection of Sound in Ambient Air: Temporal Characterization of THORS Barriers” Appl. Spectrosc., 76 (11), 1346-1355 (2022).
  5. A. Singh, K. S. Machuga, H. Prasad, K. Mandal, L. Kelly, B. Arnold, F. S. Choa, B. Cullum, G. Austin and N. B. Singh, “Dissolution of Kidney Stones; Nano and Micro Morphologies Developed During Remelting” Curr. Res. Mat. Chem., 3 (1), 113 – 117 (2022).
  6. Kazal, A. Ngo, E. L. Holthoff and B. M. Cullum, “Acoustic Steering Using Thermally-induced Optical Reflection of Sound (THORS)”, Appl. Spectrosc. March 2021:
  7. Singh, F.-S. Choa, C.-H. Su, B. M. Cullum, B. Arnold and L. Kelly, “Morphology and Performance of Organic Nanocomposites for gamma-ray Sensing”, Emerging Materials Research, 9 (2), 520-526 (2020).
  8. Kazal, E. L. Holthoff and B. M. Cullum*, “Thermally-induced Optical Reflection of Sound (THORS) for Photoacoustic Sensing”, Proc. SPIE – Soc. Opt. Eng., 11020, 1102009 (2019).
  9. Languirand, D. Kazal, S. Lowery and B. M. Cullum, “Nanoscale Optical Biosensors and Biochips for Cellular Diagnostics,” in Smart Biosensor Technology; George K. Knopf and Amarjeet S. Bassi (eds.), Boca Raton, CRC Press, 2nd edition, in press (July 2018).
  10. Cullum, E. L. Holthoff and P. M. Pellegrino, “Optical Waveguiding and Reflection of Sound in Air”, Opt. Express 25(19), p. 22738 – 22749 (2017).
  11. Farrell, P. Strobbia, P. M. Pellegrino and B. M. Cullum, “Surface Regeneration and Signal Increase of Commercially Produced Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) Substrates”, Appl. Opt. 56 (3), p. 198 – 213 (2017).
  12. Strobbia, A. Mayer and B. M. Cullum, “Improving Sensitivity and Reproducibility of SERS Sensing in Micro-environments Using Individual, Optically Trapped SERS Probes,” Appl. Spectrosc. 71(2), p. 279 – 287 (2017).
  13. Strobbia, A. J. Henegar, T. Gougousi and B. M. Cullum, “Layered Gold and Titanium Dioxide Substrates for Improved Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopic Sensing”, Appl. Spectrosc. 70(8), p. 1375 – 1383 (2016).
  14. Dahal and Brian M. Cullum, “Characterization of Multiphoton Photoacoustic Spectroscopy for Sub-surface Brain Tissue Diagnosis and Imaging,” J. Biomed. Opt., 21(4), 047001 (2016).
  15. Farrell, P. Strobbia, D. A. Sarkes, D. N. Stratis-Cullum, B. M. Cullum and P. M. Pellegrino, “The Development of Army Relevant Peptide-based Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) Sensors for Biological Threat Detection” Proc. SPIE, 9863, 9863OB-01 – 9863OB-16 (2016)
  16. Languirand and B. M. Cullum, “Characterization of Analytical Figures of Merit of a Sub-diffraction Limited Fiber Bundle Array for SERS Imaging” Proc. SPIE, 9863, 9863OC-01 – 9863OC-08 (2016).
  17. Strobbia, E. Languirand and B. M. Cullum, “Recent Advances In Plasmonic Nanostructures for Sensing”, Opt. Eng., 54(10), 10090201-10090221 (2015).
  18. Vo-Dinh and B. M. Cullum, “Fluorescence Spectroscopy for Biomedical Diagnostics,” in CRC Handbook of Biomedical Photonics; Tuan Vo-Dinh (ed.), Boca Raton, CRC Press, 2nd edition, Volume 2, 2014, ISBN 9781439804445.


Honors and Awards

2017 FACSS Innovation Award
October 12, 2017
‘Optical Reflection and Waveguiding of Sound in Free Space’

Fellow; SPIE
January 17, 2014
‘Intracellular SERS nanosensors and optical sensing techniques for environmental and biological monitoring’

Eli Lilly Analytical Academic Award
August 5, 2004
‘SERS Nano-Imaging Probes for Real Time Chemical Imaging’
R&D 100 Award
December 1, 2003
RAMiTS: Raman Integrated Tunable Sensor


Optically Induced Channeling of Sound”; 2017 – 2020;
U.S. Army Research Laboratory; PI (Cullum)

Multi-layered SERS and Guided, Localized Photo-acoustic Detection of Chemical Agents”, 2015-2016;
Battelle Scientific Services Program; PI (Cullum)

Development of a SERS Nanoimager for Robust Biological/Chemical Signature Identification”, 2011 – 2012;
U.S. Army Research Laboratory/ Maryland Proof of Concept Alliance Fund; PI (Cullum)

Center for Bio-mimetic, Bio-Controlled and Biocompatible Nanoscience: (Phase 1) Optical Nanosensors for Pre-Symptomatic Disease Monitoring”; 2010 – 2012;
UMBC Research Seed Funding Initiative; PI (Cullum)

Innovation and Commercialization of Chemical Detection Technologies”; 2009 – 2010;
Alex Brown Center for Entrepreneurship; PI (Choa)

Acquisition of a Confocal Microscope”; 2007 – 2010;
National Science Foundation MRI; PI (Blumberg)

Multi-Layered Surround SERS Nanosensor Array System for the Rapid, Specific and Multiplexed Detection of Foodborne Bacteria and Toxins”; 2006 – 2010;
U.S. Department of Agriculture (CSREES Program); PI (Cullum)

Development and Optimization of Multilayered Surface Enhanced Raman Substrates”; 2005 – 2009;
Army Research Office; PI (Cullum)

Novel Surface enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) Substrates for UV SERS”; 2004-2005;
ITT Industries; PI (Cullum)

Development and Evaluation of Novel Implantable Nanosensors for Real-Time Monitoring of Individual Cells and Cellular Signaling”; 2004 – 2005;
DARPA/Air Force Office of Scientific Research; PI (Cullum)

Development of Multiphoton Photoacoustic Spectroscopy for Subsurface Tumor Diagnosis and Imaging”; 2004 – 2005;
Maryland Technology Development Corporation (MD TEDCO); PI (Cullum)

Promising Analytical Chemist Award”; 2003 – 2005;
Eli Lilly and Company; PI (Cullum)


Smart Medical and Physiological Sensor Technologies Conference
Smart Medical and Physiological Sensor Technologies
SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing
Orlando, FL
Pittsburgh Conference

Courses Taught

  • CHEM 300: Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 399: Tutorial Projects in Chemistry
  • CHEM 461: Advanced Instrumental Methods of Analysis
  • CHEM 490: Special Topics in Chemistry
  • CHEM 499: Undergraduate Research
  • CHEM 662: Analytical Spectroscopy
  • CHEM 667: Advanced Analytical Methods
  • CHEM 898:Pre-Candidacy Doctoral Research
  • CHEM 899:Doctoral Dissertation Research