Originally from the Midwest, Rebecca Ihrie completed undergraduate studies in biochemistry with honors at the University of Michigan, a PhD in cancer biology at Stanford University and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Alvarez-Buylla lab at the University of California, San Francisco. Her work has been recognized by Stanford's Lieberman award, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the American Association for Cancer Research/National Brain Tumor Society and an Ann Faulkenberry research grant from the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation.
Since 2012, the Ihrie Lab at Vanderbilt University has studied the stem cells of the brain and stem-like cells in brain tumors using high-dimensional approaches. Using flow cytometry, her group revealed intrinsic differences in per-cell signaling capacity between groups of neural stem cells and showed that this difference is linked to the ability of these cells to form brain tumors. The laboratory also demonstrated that brain tumor contact with the brain stem cell niche is a key independent predictor of patient outcome.
Recently the Ihrie Lab and collaborators used mass cytometry analysis of glioblastoma patient tissue and new machine learning algorithms to identify and deeply characterize novel, risk-stratifying populations of brain tumor cells.
Ihrie is a founding member of Vanderbilt's Mass Cytometry Center of Excellence and a member of the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, the Vanderbilt Center for Stem Cell Biology and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. When not in the lab, she might be roller-skating skating with her family or outside in the garden.