Kristina Rinker


Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Associate Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology Dept.

Cumming School of Medicine

Lead, Early Cancer Detection Initiative

University of Calgary

PhD - Chemical Engineering

North Carolina State University, 1998

BS - Chemical Engineering

University of Alabama, 1992

Contact information


Calgary Centre for Innovative Technology : CCIT 122


Dr. Rinker has taught the following courses:

Introduction to Biomedical Engineering (BMEN 301)

Biomedical Engineering Research Thesis (BMEN 500)

Biomedical Engineering Project (BMEN 501)

Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Engineering (BMEN 585)

Special Problems - Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Bioengineering (BMEN 619.15)

Chemical Process Design I (ENCH 511)

Chemical Process Design II (ENCH 531)

Chemical Engineering Laboratory (ENCH 551)

Behaviour of Liquids, Gases and Solids (ENGG 201)


Research areas

  • Biomedical engineering
  • Biomarker expression in normal and pathological tissues
  • Fluid force effects on transcriptional regulation

Research activities

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 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.


Selected publications

Sykes, E.A., Q. Dai, C. Sarsons, J. Chen, J. V. Rochleau, D. I. Hwang, G. Zheng, D. Cramb, K. D. Rinker, W. C. W. Chan. 2016. Tailoring nanoparticle designs to target cancer based on tumor pathophysiology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(9): E1142-E1151.

Sarsons, C., A. Tekrony, Yaehne, K., S. Childs, K.D. Rinker, D. Cramb. 2014. Testing Nanoparticles for Angiogenesis-Related Disease: Charting the Fastest Route to the Clinic. Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology, 10:1641-1676.

Lara, G., O. Hazenbiller, T. Gareau, R. D. Shepherd, M. Kallos, D. Rancourt, K.D. Rinker. 2013. Fluid flow modulation of murine embryonic stem cell pluripotency gene expression in the absence of LIF. Cell and Molecular Bioengineering, 2013, 6(3): 335-345.

Tekrony, A., K. Yaehne, A. Clancy, Y. Gregoriou, J. Walker, T. Nguyen, A. Doiron, K. Rinker, S. Jiang, S. Childs, D. Cramb. 2013. Nanoparticle accumulation in angiogenic tissues: Towards predictable pharmacokinetics. Small, 9(18): 3006-3127.

Gareau T, Lara G, Shepherd RD, Taiani J, Krawetz R, Rancourt D, Rinker KD, Kallos MS. 2012. Shear stress influences pluripotency of murine Embryonic Stem Cells (mESCs) in suspension bioreactors Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine DOI: 10.1002/term.1518.