• Individual Members
  • Early Career Members
  • Student Members
  • Corporate Members
  • SPIE Professional Magazine
  • Visiting Lecturers
  • Women In Optics
  • Women in Optics Events
    Women in Optics Planner
    2018 WiO Planner
    2017 WiO Planner
    2016 WiO Planner
    2015 WiO Planner
    2014 WiO Planner
    2013 WiO Planner
    2012 WiO Planner
    2011 WiO Planner
    2010 WiO Planner
    2009 WiO Planner
    2008 WiO Planner
    2007 WiO Planner
    2006 WiO Planner
    2005 WiO Planner
    Women in Optics Videos
    Women in Optics Survey
    Women in Optics Funding
  • BACUS Technical Group
Print PageEmail Page

Muyinatu Bell

Assistant Professor and PULSE Lab Director
Johns Hopkins University, USA

Muyinatu Bell

Country of Birth: USA
Country of Residence: USA
Educational Background: BS in Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Duke University


In my formative years, as a result of my mother's commitment to education, my older brother allowing me to do his math homework with him, and my learning of the word scientist as broken down to a curious little girl by Sesame Street, I cultivated a love for math and science. When I was 6 years old, I declared that I wanted to be a scientist when I grew up. I later learned that I could mix my love for math and science when I was selected to participate in a program for female high school sophomores who excelled in these two subject areas. This program was designed to introduce us to the wonderful world of engineering.

Now I spend my time conducting research, teaching, writing, fundraising, counseling, advising, mentoring, traveling to present my work, engineering new ways to visualize the contents of the human body using light and sound.

At times, I felt like I have been overlooked when I know I have the same qualifications as others who are being considered for various types of professional opportunities. I learned that I have two options in cases like these: (1) know how and when to speak up or (2) ignore what is happening and focus on making myself the best version of myself, simply because it is not always the right time to speak up. That opportunity and privilege may come days, years, or decades later.

Follow your passion. Don't let anyone discourage you. Don't be afraid to be your unique self, even if it may seem to be an unpopular choice at the time. I wish someone had told me the importance of building and maintaining relationships early on. Knowing that now, I can say that one day you will have the opportunity to meet others like you who share similar interests and can relate to your unique story.

View more 2018 profiles