Reinhart-King Laboratory

Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding cellular mechanics and cell-biomaterial interactions

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Meet The PI

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Cynthia A. Reinhart-King, PhD

  • - Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering
  • - Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • - Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
  • - Director of Graduate Studies, Biomedical Engineering


  • - Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania
  • - B.S. in Chemical Engineering and Biology from MIT

Cynthia Reinhart-King is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering and the Director of Graduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering. She obtained undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering and biology at MIT where she worked with Doug Lauffenburger studying integrin-mediated signaling. She received her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Bioengineering as a Whitaker Fellow working with Daniel Hammer studying endothelial cell adhesion and force generation. She then completed postdoctoral training as an Individual NIH NRSA postdoctoral fellow at the University of Rochester with Brad Berk and Keigi Fujiwara investigating mechanical cues in atherosclerosis. Prior to joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2017, she was on the faculty of Cornell University where she received tenure in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Her research uses approaches from tissue engineering, biomaterials, cellular engineering and mechanobiology to understand the role of the tissue microenvironment in disease with a focus on cancer metastasis, blood vessel growth, atherosclerosis and diabetes.

Dr. Reinhart-King is a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and she is a New Voices Fellow of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. She is currently a standing member of the NIH CMT study section panel and Secretary of the Biomedical Engineering Society. She has been given numerous awards including the Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award in 2010 and the Mid-Career Award in 2018 from the Biomedical Engineering Society and an NSF CAREER Award.

Dr. Reinhart-King is dedicated to training the next generation of scientists. The majority of her current and former trainees have won NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and/or NIH training fellowships. She currently sits on the Vanderbilt Graduate Faculty Council. She has won the Sonny Yau ‘72 Excellence in Teaching Award, a Cook Award for “contributions towards improving the climate for women at Cornell,” and the Zellman Warhaft Commitment to Diversity Award from the Cornell College of Engineering. She has given numerous lectures on graduate training and fellowship preparation.

Outside of lab, Dr. Reinhart-King enjoys spending time with her two children, Simon and Julian, and her husband Mike, who is also a professor in BME. In her free time, she enjoys puzzles, pinball, trying to stay fit, and all things crafty.