Tina Rinker

Dr. Kristina Rinker

PhD, PEng



Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering


Libin Cardiovascular Institute

Full Member

The Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute


Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute

Contact information

Phone number

Office: 403.210.9733


Office: CCIT125A

For media enquiries, contact

Joe McFarland
Media Relations and Communications Specialist

Cell: +1.403.671.2710
Email: Joe.Mcfarland@ucalgary.ca


Educational Background

Bachelor of Science Chemical Engineering, University of Alabama, 1992

Doctor of Philosophy Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 1998

Research Assistant Professor Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, 2000


Dr. Rinker is the Director of the Centre for Bioengineering Research and Education and a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (Schulich School of Engineering). She also has an appointment in the 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), an Assistant Research Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Duke University (1998‐2000), and Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary (2005-2019). 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 Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute.


Areas of Research

Area of Focus
  • Diagnostics and Therapeutics
  • Fluid force effects on transcriptional regulation and biomarker expression
Summary of Research

Our research focuses on how blood flow affects cell and tissue behavior with relevance to cardiovascular health and disease, stem cells, and cancer. Cells are strongly affected by environmental conditions and adapt by changing their physiology to better suit new environments. One strong environmental factor is fluid flow. Fluid forces resulting from fluid flow can modulate events such as bacterial infection, mammalian cell viability in culture, cancer metastasis, stem cell differentiation, and susceptibility to disease in blood vessels. Understanding the components and mechanisms for cellular response to fluid forces may therefore help us better inhibit infections, more effectively produce bioproducts from mammalian cell culture, and better develop diagnostic and therapeutic technologies. Our work is highly collaborative locally and internationally and has a translational focus around molecular diagnostics, tissue models and devices, drug target identification, and testing of pharmaceuticals, nanoparticles and MRI contrast agents.


In the News

  • New clues about heart health uncovered by team of biomedical engineers. An engineering school isn’t where you normally hear about advancements that could improve heart health, but researchers at the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineer. University of Calgary News Release. (2011)