Prof. Bell Wins NSF Smart & Connected Health Award

Prof. Bell was awarded $1M from the NSF to advance cardiac procedures with the broader goal of replacing fluoroscopy one day. The objective of this award is to apply theoretical spatial coherence models and experimental optical analyses to understand the limits of a novel, integrated robotic-photoacoustic imaging system for guiding cardiac surgeries and interventions. This work will be completed in collaboration with Jonathan Chrispin, MD at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

More details on the basic principles of the proposed approach are available in our initial journal publication on this topic:

  • Graham M, Assis F, Allman D, Wiacek A, González E, Gubbi M, Dong J, Hou H, Beck S, Chrispin J, Bell MAL, In vivo demonstration of photoacoustic image guidance and robotic visual servoing for cardiac catheter-based interventions, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 39(4):1015-1029, 2020 [pdf]

This work has also been featured in the following articles and press releases:

We additionally have a pending patent for these ideas.

NSF Award Announcement

ECE Department Announcement

Prof. Bell Wins Inaugural IEEE UFFC Star Ambassador Lectureship Award

Congratulations to Prof. Bell for being selected to receive the inaugural IEEE UFFC Star Ambassador Lectureship Award! This award from the IEEE Ultrasonics Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society is intended to support early career professionals with the delivery of technical talks highlighting their research.  Up to $2,500 of support is provided to create new contacts and promote new collaborations with colleagues and students at academic institutions, national laboratories and local industry.

HEMI Announcement

Paper Accepted to Journal of Biomedical Optics

Congratulations to Kelley Kempski! Her first author paper entitled, In vivo photoacoustic imaging of major blood vessels in the pancreas and liver during surgery, was accepted to the Journal of Biomedical Optics. This work is the first to demonstrate in vivo blood vessel visualization with possible applications to a range of photoacoustic-guided pancreatic and liver surgeries.

Special thanks to Alycen Wiacek, who mentored Kelley on this project in her role as Kelley’s graduate student mentor through the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Computational Sensing and Medical Robotics (CSMR) summer program. This program was recently renewed with 3 more years of funding support from the National Science Foundation.

Citation: Kempski K, Wiacek A, Graham M, González E, Goodson B, Allman D, Palmer J, Hou H, Beck S, He J, Bell MAL, In vivo photoacoustic imaging of major blood vessels in the pancreas and liver during surgery, Journal of Biomedical Optics, 24(12):121905, 2019 [pdf]

Related News:

Kelley Kempski Wins Best Presentation Award

SPIE Photonics West 2019 Recap

Kelley Kempski Wins NSF GRFP Fellowship

The Research Experience for Undergraduates in Computational Sensing and Medical Robotics program receives a three-year grant from NSF

Prof. Bell Wins ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award

Congratulations to Prof. Bell, who was selected to receive a competitive ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, which is designed to help ORAU member institutions retain their best young faculty members. This award will provide seed funding for the project entitled, Robust Short-Lag Spatial Coherence Imaging of Hypoechoic Breast Masses, which focuses on development and patient testing of a novel beamforming method developed in the PULSE Lab to differentiate fluid-filled masses from solid breast masses with greater certainty than the current ultrasound beamforming methods used in breast clinics today. Fluid-filled masses are often benign, but with current uncertainty rates, many fluid-filled masses undergo the same costly, time-consuming, and anxiety-provoking diagnostic work-ups as malignant masses, which are often solid.

The long-term goal of this research is to improve breast cancer screening and detection for the benefit of patients and for the redistribution of more healthcare system resources to cancer patients who need them most.

Related Highlights:

ORAU Press Release

ECE Department Announcement

Malone Center Announcement

Prof. Bell Named 2019 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow

Congratulations to Prof. Muyinatu Bell who was selected by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as a 2019 Sloan Research Fellow in Physics. The Sloan Research Fellowships are provided to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. These two-year fellowships are awarded in recognition of distinguished performance and the unique potential of recipients to make substantial contributions to their field. A total of 126 Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded annually with only 23 awarded in Physics this year.

“Sloan Research Fellows are the best young scientists working today,” says Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “Sloan Fellows stand out for their creativity, for their hard work, for the importance of the issues they tackle, and the energy and innovation with which they tackle them. To be a Sloan Fellow is to be in the vanguard of twenty-first century science.”

The 2019 Sloan Research Fellows each receive a two-year fellowship in the amount of $70,000 to further their research.

Sloan Foundation Press Release

JHU Hub Announcement

ECE Department Announcement

Malone Center Announcement

Whiting School of Engineering Announcement

HEMI Announcement

Prof. Bell Receives NIH Trailblazer Award

Prof. Bell received the NIH Trailblazer Award from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to support our project entitled, A Machine Learning Alternative to Beamforming to Improve Ultrasound Image Quality for Interventional Access to the Kidney. This project is motivated by the clinical challenges surrounding artifacts in ultrasound images, specifically artifacts caused by multipath scattering and acoustic reverberations (which occur when imaging through the abdominal tissue of overweight and obese patients or visualizing metallic surgical tools). There are no existing solutions to eliminate these artifacts based on today’s signal processing techniques. The goal of this project is to step away from conventional signal processing models and instead learn from raw ultrasound channel data examples with state-of-the-art deep learning techniques that differentiate artifacts from true signals to deliver a new class of clearer, easier-to-interpret ultrasound images that we call CNN-Based images. This work will be completed in collaboration with Austin Reiter, PhD and Kelvin Hong, MD.

Two of our pioneering publications in this area include:

  • D Allman, A Reiter, MAL Bell, Photoacoustic source detection and reflection artifact removal enabled by deep learning, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 37(6):1464-1477, 2018 [pdf | datasets code]
  • AA Nair, T Tran, A Reiter, MAL Bell, A deep learning based alternative to beamforming ultrasound images, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, April 15-20, 2018 [pdf]
  • Additional related publications are featured here

This work has also been featured in the following articles and press releases:

We additionally have a pending patent for these ideas.

ECE Department Announcement

Whiting School of Engineering Announcement

LCSR Announcement

Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare Announcement

HEMI Announcement

JHU Hub Announcement

JHU Engineering Magazine

Johns Hopkins Magazine

Prof. Bell Receives JHU Discovery Award

Dr. Muyinatu Bell and gynecologic surgeon collaborator Dr. Karen Wang were among the 30 interdisciplinary faculty teams at Johns Hopkins selected to receive one of the 2018 JHU Discovery Awards. This award is designed to support cross-divisional research teams who are poised to arrive at important discoveries or creative works. The expectation is that these awards will spark new, synergistic interactions between investigators across the institution and lead to work of the highest quality and impact. This award will support their research topic of “Photoacoustic Image Guidance of Gynecological Surgeries.”

JHU Hub Celebration Coverage

JHU Office of Research Announcement

JHU Hub Announcement

Malone Center Announcement

HEMI Announcement

Whiting School of Engineering Announcement

ECE Department Announcement

Prof. Bell Receives NSF CAREER Award

Congratulations to Prof. Bell for being selected to receive the NSF CAREER Award. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.  The objective of Prof. Bell’s proposal entitled CAREER: Technical & Theoretical Foundations for Photoacoustic-Guided Surgery is to apply optical analyses, spatial coherence theory, and independent resolution models to describe fundamental performance limits of photoacoustic-based navigation during robotic and nonrobotic surgery.

ECE Department Announcement

Malone Center Announcement

WSE Announcement

JHU Hub Announcement

LCSR Announcement

PULSE Lab Receives NVIDIA GPU Grant

The PULSE Lab is grateful to NVIDIA Corporation for donating a state-of-the-art Titan Xp GPU to support our clinical implementation of novel ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging algorithms.

NIH R00 Grant Awarded

The PULSE Lab received the 2nd phase of Dr. Bell’s NIH K99/R00 award to support our project entitled “Coherence-Based Photoacoustic Image Guidance of Transsphenoidal Surgeries”. This work is motivated by the clinical challenges surrounding the removal of pituitary tumors using the minimally invasive endonasal transsphenoidal approach, which incurs the deadly risk of causing injury to the internal carotid arteries. We propose to eliminate this risk by developing a sophisticated photoacoustic imaging system that visualizes blood vessels located behind bone during the surgical operation. This photoacoustic imaging system will be equipped with our novel coherence-based beamformers and our specialized light delivery systems.

JHU ECE Announcement

NIH K99 Pathway to Independence Award

Dr. Muyinatu A. Lediju Bell received the NIH Pathway to Independence Award for her project entitled Coherence-Based Photoacoustic Image Guidance of Transsphenoidal Surgeries. This award promises support for 1-2 more years of postdoctoral training and the first 3 years of Dr. Bell’s independent faculty position.

JHU Whiting School of Engineering Announcement

JHU Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR) Announcement