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Rebecca Heise

Rebecca Heise Headshot
Get to Know Me

Something that excites me in my field...
New sensor technologies for lung injury and disease

My work impacts society...
by improving lung health.

I find the most joy in my work when...
I work with students in the lab.

My favorite quote is...
"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Current University
Virginia Commonwealth University

Research Area
Lung injury and repair

Research Summary
Rebecca Heise's research targets using engineering to fix injured lungs. In particular, she focuses on pulmonary mechanobiology and regenerative medicine. She seeks to understand how the mechanical environment in the lung influences cellular behavior in health and disease with in vitro and in vivo models. Heise also researches the use of naturally-derived extracellular matrix as a biomaterial for cell and drug delivery to the lung. 

Heise is an Associate Professor and undergraduate program director of biomedical engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at VCU and is a member of the Massey Cancer Center and the Johnson Center for Critical Care and Pulmonary Research.

She has been awarded an R01 from the National Institute of Aging to study the effects of ventilator induced lung injury on inflammatory cell signaling, and she has earned a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to study cell-ECM interactions in pulmonary fibrosis.

Alma Mater
University of Pittsburgh (PhD) and Carnegie Mellon University (BS)