Research and teaching
Area of Focus
- Fluid force effects on transcriptional regulation and biomarker expression
Summary of Research
Research in the Rinker Laboratory focuses on how fluid flow affects cell and nanoparticle behavior with relevance to cardiovascular disease, stem cells, and cancer. These effects are further studied in animal models or human tissues to confirm in vivo relevance, and then used to build applications that influence human health. Of particular interest is the transcriptional regulation of gene expression in both health and disease, with primary targets being arterial tissues, stem cells, and cancer metastasis. The Rinker lab has developed in vitro research tools for use in physiological profiling, drug target/biomarker identification, tissue engineering, and the screening of pharmaceuticals, nanoparticles and MRI contrast agents.
Dr. Rinker is the Director of the Centre for Bioengineering Research and Education and an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering (Schulich School of Engineering) and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology (Cumming School of Medicine). Her research is highly collaborative locally and internationally, and focuses on how fluid flow affects cell and nanoparticle behavior with relevance to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Dr. Rinker is actively involved in technology development and commercialization through university spin‐off companies and industrial and governmental partnerships in the areas of cardiovascular and cancer detection and treatment. Her previous academic appointments include being an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Colorado State University (2000‐2005), and an Assistant Research Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University (1998‐2000). She received a BS in chemical engineering from University of Alabama in 1992 and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1998.
Dr. Rinker is the Lead for the Early Cancer Detection Initiative (ECDI), a developing program supported by the Charbonneau Cancer Institute.