Cynthia Reinhart-King is Senior Associate Dean for Research in School of Engineering

Cynthia Reinhart-King, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering and professor of biomedical engineering, has accepted the position of Senior Associate Dean for Research.

Her appointment comes as Associate Dean for Research and John R. Hall Professor of Chemical Engineering Peter Cummings steps down and has announced his retirement.

Cynthia Reinhart-King

Reinhart-King is a cellular bioengineer who is a leader in her field. Her seminal work has contributed to breakthroughs in understanding tumor formation. She was one of 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. The citations of her cellular bioengineering research number in the thousands.

“I am pleased Cindy has agreed to be Senior Associate Dean for Research,” said Philippe M. Fauchet, Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Dean of Engineering. “She is excellent for the position because of her outstanding leadership, creativity, and cutting-edge research. We look forward to her new initiatives, which will draw national and international attention and continue to raise our research reputation.”

“The research portfolio within the Vanderbilt School of Engineering has grown significantly over the past several years, and I look forward to building on that momentum, helping Vanderbilt Engineering researchers compete and thrive on a national and international stage,” Reinhart-King said.

Her research has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and several research foundations. Reinhart-King’s bold approach to sort breast cancer cells based on their behavior first has produced compelling data that show less migratory cells create more metastases, contradicting the prevailing hypothesis on how cancer spreads. To expand this research to other highly metastatic and lethal cancers, the prestigious W. M. Keck Foundation awarded her a three-year, $1 million grant in 2020.

Reinhart-King is president-elect of the Biomedical Engineering Society. She served as an editorial board member of the Biophysical Journal, 2018-2020, and is a current editorial board member of Science Advances and Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering. Reinhart-King was a standing member of the NIH CMT study section. She served as chair of the AIMBE Diversity and Inclusion Committee until 2020 when she became a board member.

Her new position in the School of Engineering is effective July 1.

Contact: Lucas Johnson, 615-343-0137