Rajesh Kumar

Rajesh Kumar

Professor-in-Residence, Anesthesiology, University of California Los Angeles

Professor-in-Residence, Radiological Sciences, University of California Los Angeles


Department Address:
56-132 CHS
10833 Le Conte Ave
University of California at Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Phone Number:

Mailing Address:
UCLA Department of Anesthesiology
757 Westwood Plaza, Suite 3325
Los Angeles, CA 90095 UCLA Anes BOX 957115, 56-132 CHS Los Angeles, CA 90095-7115

Research Interests

Dr. Kumar’s laboratory uses magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and various MRI procedures, including high-resolution T1-weighted imaging, T2-relaxometry, magnetization transfer imaging, diffusional kurtosis imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, arterial spin labeling, and functional magnetic resonance imaging to assist in the localization of abnormal brain regions and assess neural activity in patients with OSA and HF. Research has demonstrated that HF patients show brain injury in autonomic, mood, and cognitive regulatory areas. The research team has also differentiated different types of white matter injury (axonal or myelin injury), and showed that HF subjects exhibit more neural damage than OSA patients, particularly in brain areas that serve memory and mood functions. Dr. Kumar’s lab seeks to determine the onset of the neural damage in HF and OSA, the specific cardiovascular or breathing effects that the damage could exert, and the extent of progression as the syndrome continues. These findings could lead to preventative measures before the severe consequences, such as hypertension, stroke, and daytime hypersomnia in OSA patients, and autonomic, mood and cognitive deficits in HF patients. This research will help identify the problems earlier, leading to earlier treatment, and give us a greater understanding of the causes of HF and OSA.


Dr. Kumar has a doctoral degree in Radiology from Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, UP, India in 2002. He received Postdoctoral training in Neurobiology at the Department of Neurobiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California from December 2002 to June 2006. Dr. Kumar has been an Assistant Researcher from July 2006 to September 14, 2013 the Department of Neurobiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. Dr. Kumar joined in the Department of Anesthesiology with secondary appointment in the Department of Radiological Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California in September 15, 2013. He has expertise in various magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy procedures. Dr. Kumar’s research is based on the evaluation of the neural tissue integrity, resulting from breathing or cardiovascular effects, in brain areas of patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and heart failure (HF) using MR procedures. It helps understand the brain processes that affect autonomic, memory and mood regulations in patients with these conditions.Dr. Kumar is funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH) since August 2012. His current NIH R01 studies involve determination of the pathological stage and nature of white matter damage, using diffusion tensor imaging, including fiber tractography, diffusional kurtosis imaging, and magnetization transfer imaging procedures, in recently-diagnosed, treatment naïve OSA subjects, and examination of how damaged brain autonomic regulatory areas (hypothalamus, insula cortex, and cerebellum) respond to an autonomic challenge, using diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI procedures, and the laterality of functional responses to that challenge in HF subjects. Dr. Kumar has published over 80 peer-reviewed research manuscripts, 5 book chapters, and over 140 abstracts presented in national and international scientific meetings.


A selected list of publications: