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Cynthia Reinhart-King

Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Director of Graduate Studies in Biomedical Engineering


My laboratory’s interest is in cell mechanobiology, the study of the effects of microenvironmental mechanical properties and forces on cell function. The mechanical properties of cells and tissues can have profound effects on basic cell behaviors, including intracellular signaling leading to changes in proliferation and migration. Microvesicles released by cells can alter the mechanical behaviors of both cells and tissues. My laboratory is investigating the role of microvesicle-mediated communication between cells within the tumor microenvironment and the role of microvesicles in cancer mechanobiology. Our data has shown that cancer cell-secreted microvesicles induce changes in the tumor microenvironment by altering fibroblast activity. Our continued work focuses on microvesicle heterogeneity and the cell-specific effects of microvesicles on metastasis.