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Three from Hopkins BME elected to AIMBE College of Fellows

February 21, 2022
Bell, Chellappa, and Ratnanather headshots in a line.

Three members from the Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering have been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows.

Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to medical and biomedical engineers. It honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering and medicine research, practice, or education

The three faculty members include:

Muyinatu “Bisi” Bell, John C. Malone Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, with joint appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science, and the director of the PULSE (Photoacoustic & Ultrasonic Systems Engineering) Lab, is being recognized “for pioneering contributions to development of ultrasonic and photoacoustic medical imaging systems, including coherence-based beamforming, photoacoustic-guided surgery, and deep learning applications.”

Bell’s work links light, sound, and robotics to create and deploy next-generation medical imaging systems that produce clearer pictures, enabling more accurate diagnosis and reducing the risk of harm and death during surgery. She was the first to demonstrate the benefits of photoacoustic-guided surgery for neurosurgeries, gynecological surgeries, spinal fusion surgeries, liver surgeries, pancreatic surgeries, cardiac catheter-based interventions, and a multitude of teleoperated robotic surgeries. Her research breaks new ground in the fundamental understanding of technology designs, image quality requirements, and innovative light delivery systems that attach to surgical tools to transmit laser energy directly to the surgical site, generating clearer live views of a patient’s internal anatomy to help surgeons avoid injuring critical features.

Rama Chellappa, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and chief scientist at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Assured Autonomy, is being recognized for “outstanding contributions to Computer Vision and Machine Learning with Applications in Medical Imaging and Biomedical Engineering.”

A leading researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, Chellappa’s work in pattern recognition, computer vision, and machine learning have had great impact on areas including smart cars, forensics, biometrics, and 2D and 3D modeling of objects, faces, and terrain. His work in markerless motion capture, gait analysis, and medical imaging shows promise for future use in health care and medicine.

Tilak Ratnanather, associate research professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and a core faculty member in both the Institute for Computational Medicine and the Center for Imaging Science, is being recognized “for leadership and outstanding contribution in making biomedical engineering and STEMM accessible to people with hearing loss worldwide.”

Ratnanather’s research interests include analyzing the shape of brain structures associated with schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, vestibular function and depression. His work also focuses on deafness and computational problems linked to cochlear physiology. He is a champion of those with hearing loss, mentoring dozens of Johns Hopkins and other students with hearing loss, many of whom have gone on to become successful engineers, researchers, and physicians.

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