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Cynthia Reinhart King

Senior Associate Dean for Research
University Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Engineering


The Reinhart-King Lab investigates tissue formation and the disruption of tissue architecture during disease progression. The environment surrounding cells is a complex milieu of chemical and mechanical signals that direct cell function. We study how cells integrate multiple extracellular signals and translate them into either normal or diseased behaviors. We use a multidisciplinary approach, integrating principles from engineering, cell and molecular biology, biophysics, microfabrication and biomaterial science, to better understand and control cell function, tissue formation, and disease progression. We are applying this approach and these tools to understand the progression of cancer and cardiovascular disease, the two leading causes of death in the US.


• Inaugural BMES Mid-Career Award, given to one individual per year, 2018
• Elected to serve as BMES Secretary, 2018-2020
• National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Inaugural New Voices Fellow, 2018-2020
• NIH CMT Study Section, Standing Member, 2018-2022
• Editorial Board Member, Biophysical Journal, 2018
• Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society, 2017
• AIMBE Fellow, 2016
• Public Voices Fellow, Cornell Op-Ed Project, 2016
• Program Chair for the 2016 Annual BMES Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, 2016
• Zellman Warhaft Commitment to Diversity Award, Cornell College of Engineering, for outstanding involvement in diversity issues, 2015
• Cook Award, Cornell University, for commitment to women's issues and contributions for changing the climate for women at Cornell, 2013
• “Rising Star” Award, Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine, 2012
• NSF CAREER Award, 2011
• Sonny Yau ’72 Excellence in Teaching Award, College of Engineering, 2010
• Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award, Biomedical Engineering Society, 2010

Selected Publications:

Regulation of ATP utilization during cell migration by collagen architecture. Zanotelli, MR; Goldblatt, ZE; Miller, JP; Bordeleau, F; Li, JH; VanderBurgh, JA; Lampi, MC; King, MR; Reinhart-King, CA, MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, 29, 1-9 , (2018) View Abstract

Substrate stiffness heterogeneities disrupt endothelial barrier integrity in a micropillar model of heterogeneous vascular stiffening. VanderBurgh, JA; Hotchkiss, H; Potharazu, A; Taufalele, PV; Reinhart-King, CA, INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY, 10, 734-746 , (2018) View Abstract

Targeting extracellular matrix stiffness to attenuate disease: From molecular mechanisms to clinical trials. Lampi, MC; Reinhart-King, CA, SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, 10, aao0475 , (2018) View Abstract

Matrix stiffening promotes a tumor vasculature phenotype. Bordeleau F; Mason BN; Lollis EM; Mazzola M; Zanotelli MR; Somasegar S; Califano JP; Montague C; LaValley DJ; Huynh J; Mencia-Trinchant N; Negrón Abril YL; Hassane DC; Bonassar LJ; Butcher JT; Weiss RS; Reinhart-King CA;, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 114, 492-497 , (2017) View Abstract

inculin Regulates Directionality and Cell Polarity in 2D, 3D and Microtrack Migration. Rahman A; Carey SP; Kraning-Rush CM; Goldblatt ZE; Bordeleau F; Lampi MC; Lin DY; García AJ; Reinhart-King CA, MOLECULAR CELL BIOLOGY, 27, 1431-1441 , (2016) View Abstract