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.
Fellow status is awarded to society members who demonstrate exceptional achievements in the field of biomedical engineering, and a record of membership and participation in the Society. Fellows will be recognized at the society’s annual meeting in October in Phoenix.
Reinhart-King moved to Vanderbilt in early 2017 and is currently expanding her research program to work with medical center investigators to transition her research into studying diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in diabetic patients, which shares many of the same hallmarks as blood vessels in tumors. With a Vanderbilt radiation oncologist, she is taking her cancer research a step further to investigate new therapies to intervene with tumor stiffening and tumor recurrence.
Her recent service to the BMES includes program chair of the 2016 Annual BMES Meeting, current co-chair of the National Meetings Committee, and member of the Board of Directors, 2014-2017. In 2010, she received the society’s Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award.
The citations of her cellular bioengineering research number is in the thousands. In addition to a number of awards and honors, she is the recipient of a NSF Faculty Early Career Award and she is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She has also won numerous awards for teaching and mentoring.
Reinhart-King recently was named a F1000 faculty member. In that role, she helps to identify the most exciting and important research related to the cytoskeleton across the field of Cell Biology by contributing recommendations and reviews.
Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314