Cynthia Reinhart-King, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2016
For outstanding contributions in cellular and tissue mechanics in disease progression

Biomedical engineers Michael King, Cynthia Reinhart-King to join Rice faculty

Via Rice University | August 22, 2023

Two national leaders in the biomedical engineering field, Michael King and Cynthia Reinhart-King, whose research programs have advanced the understanding and treatment of cancer and other diseases, will join the Rice University faculty next year.

“Both are established leaders in bioengineering,” said Gang Bao, department chair and Foyt Family Professor of Bioengineering (BIOE) at Rice. “Cindy has been doing outstanding research on understanding tissue formation and tissue disruption during diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. Mike’s research aims to understand important processes in the blood, including cancer metastasis, inflammation and thrombosis… Continue reading.

Vanderbilt study finds that diabetes may hasten breast cancer tumor growth and stiffness

Via Vanderbilt University | November 18, 2022

While diabetes is already associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer, a new Vanderbilt study published in Science Advances on November 18 indicates that presence of the disease may increase tumor growth and stiffness.

Researchers also found that diabetes treatments could reduce the tumor growth and stiffness to levels comparable with non-diabetic ones. The research was led by Cynthia Reinhart-King, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering and University Distinguished Professor. Vanderbilt Ph.D. student Wenjun Wang, a current member of Reinhart-King’s cellular mechanics lab, and Lauren Hapach, PhD’21, a former lab member, were co-authors… Continue reading.

On-the-move cancer cells prefer a “comfort cruise,” follow predictable paths of least resistance

Via Vanderbilt Engineering | September 13, 2019

According to the researchers, migrating cancer cells decide which path in the body to travel based on how much energy it takes, opting to move through wider, easier to navigate spaces rather than smaller, confined spaces to reduce energy requirements during movement. These findings suggest energy expenditure and metabolism are significant factors within metastatic migration, which lends credence to recent clinical interest in the study of metabolomics and the targeting of cellular metabolism as a way to prevent metastasis.

The discoveries appear in a new paper, “Energetic costs regulated by cell mechanics and confinement are predictive of migration path during decision-making,” published today in the journal Nature Communications.

Led by Cynthia Reinhart-King, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering, the research is the first study to quantify the energetic costs of cancer cells during metastasis – enabling the prediction of specific migration pathways. These new findings build on similar research from the Reinhart-King Lab, published earlier this year, which discovered “drafting” techniques used by cancer cells to conserve energy during migration… Continue reading.

Like geese and race cars, cancer cells draft their way to new sites

Via Vanderbilt Engineering | March 30, 2019

NASCAR has nothing on cancer cells when it comes to exploiting the power of drafting, letting someone else do the hard work of moving forward while you coast behind.

Building on the relatively new discovery that metastatic cancer cells leave tumors and travel in clusters, not singles, a Vanderbilt University team of biomedical engineers learned the process is aided by leader-follower behavior. Like race car drivers and geese, the front cell expends vastly more energy making its way forward through tissue to establish a new tumor site. When it tires, it moves to the back of the cluster, and a cell from behind that’s been saving energy begins leading… Continue reading.

Reinhart-King receives the inaugural BMES Mid-Career Award

Via Vanderbilt University | October 25, 2018

Cynthia A. Reinhart-King, a nationally recognized cellular bioengineer, is the inaugural recipient of the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Mid-Career Award. Reinhart-King delivered the award lecture Saturday, Oct. 20, at the BMES 2018 Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

Reinhart-King received the 2010 Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award and she is the only person to have received two of three major awards from the BMES… Continue reading.

Cynthia Reinhart-King to serve on National Academies inaugural New Voices panel

Via Vanderbilt University | June 8, 2018

Cynthia Reinhart-King, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering, is one of 18 early-career leaders selected by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine to serve on New Voices in Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a pilot initiative to engage a diverse network of emerging leaders in SEM fields across the United States.

The New Voices panel will work over a two-year period with a senior advisory committee to identify other early-career SEM leaders to help articulate and communicate the evidence base for addressing national and global challenges.

Another goal is to provide new perspectives on issues of importance to The National Academies, and to help expand the diversity of expertise that is brought to all of the Academies’ convening and advisory activities… Continue reading.

Cynthia Reinhart-King named Biomedical Engineering Society Fellow

Via Vanderbilt University | September 28, 2017

Cynthia Reinhart-King, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering, is a member of the 2017 Class of Fellows of the Biomedical Engineering Society. The BMES is the premier society for biomedical engineering and bioengineering professionals with more than 7,000 members. This year’s class includes 20 members nominated by their peers.

Reinhart-King is a cellular bioengineer whose seminal work on extracellular matrices has contributed to a breakthrough in understanding tumor formation. She was the first to show how the matrix, or the non-cellular glue in all tissues and organs, can stiffen when a tumor forms and promote tumor growth and interfere with the effectiveness of cancer treatments.

Her lab has significantly pushed this work on cancer and on atherosclerosis forward by using a multi-scale approach to understand how cells integrate physical and chemical cues within their environment. The multi-scale approach includes looking at disease progression at the tissue level, the cellular level and the molecular level using sophisticated engineered systems… Continue reading.

School of Engineering Recruits Biomedical Engineering Chair, New Faculty Members

Via Vanderbilt | October 5, 2016

The Vanderbilt University School of Engineering announces the appointment of senior faculty to the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and four junior faculty members representing biomedical, mechanical and computer science and computer engineering departments.

Michael R. King will join Vanderbilt as professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Cynthia Reinhart-King will join biomedical engineering as professor and will direct new research initiatives related to the emerging area of regenerative medicine.

Cynthia Reinhart-King investigates tissue formation and tissue disruption during diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. She focuses on how physical and chemical cues within the extracellular environment drive fundamental cellular processes including cell-matrix adhesion, cell-cell adhesion and cell migration.

Reinhart-King is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, a recipient of a NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award and of the Rita Schaffer Award from BMES. She obtained undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and biology at MIT and a Ph.D. in bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Reinhart-King’s lab has received funding from the American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the American Federation for Aging Research. She currently serves as a member of the national BMES Board of Directors, and serves as the program chair of the 2016 BMES annual meeting.

Cynthia Reinhart-King, Ph.D. To be Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Via AIMBE | March 22, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Cynthia Reinhart-King, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Cornell University, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Reinhart-King was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For outstanding contributions in cellular and tissue mechanics in disease progression.