Farewell to Lee Kamentsky, changing the world... one line of code at a time

We are posting here to share some big news: our long-time software engineer Lee Kamentsky is leaving the team!

Lee joined the CellProfiler team at the Broad Institute in August 2008, 18 months after the Carpenter lab/Imaging Platform was launched. He quickly became oriented to CellProfiler’s code base (written largely by me!), added features and maintained it. After about a year, he began porting the code to Python, an enormous undertaking. This turned out to be an excellent choice and the project became much more stable and reliable for being written by a professional software engineer.

Many in the community are amazed when they discover that Lee has been the only full-time software engineer for the CellProfiler project for most of its history. His commitment to quality control, reproducibility/backwards compatibility, and usability have made CellProfiler what it is today. It is even more amazing that he contributed substantially to other open-source software projects such as ImageJ and scikit-image, not just in terms of code but also by helping to guide the bioimaging community in decision-making.

CellProfiler is launched more than 125,000 times per year around the world and has been cited in more than 3,200 papers. Its impact is enormous and it is fair to say that without Lee the software would not have gained critical NIH funding and thus would not have survived.

Lee epitomizes the behind-the-scenes software engineer who makes great things happen. We will forever be grateful for the time he dedicated to CellProfiler and to the team as a whole.

He is leaving the group to join another alum at Harvard, as they try to decode the inner workings of the brain (well, a chunk of a mouse brain, that is).

Please join me in thanking Lee for his service to this open-source project!


You were/are the Best!!
Thank you for all the help over the years!
Good luck finding out “how the brain works”!


Oh my oh my! Lee, all the best for your future and thanks for the great work!