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Heidi Creed



PhD - Texas A&M University College of Medicine
August 2019 - Present | Medical Sciences

BS - University of Washington
June 2013 | Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology Minor in Leadership


Dissertation Project

My research interests include elucidating the immunomodulatory roles of lymphatic endothelial cells on immune homeostasis in cardio-renal axis diseases and how these changes contribute to human pathophysiology. My primary project includes determining how renal lymphatic physiology impacts disease outcomes through immune cell activation and clearance, regulating the progression of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). Inducible transgenic mouse lines are utilized to test the role of lymphatics in various renal injury models. Experiments focus on immune cell phenotyping of the kidney during the transition of AKI to CKD and understanding alterations in the adaptive immune response. I have developed in-depth immune cell phenotyping using an 18-color full spectrum flow cytometry panel and currently developing skills to implement multiple kidney injury models including an ischemia reperfusion surgical model. Understanding how lymphatics interact with immune cells may be key to understanding the role they have in the progression of AKI to CKD.



  1. Baranwal G.*, Creed H.A.*, Black L.*, Auger A., Quach A.M., Vegiraju R., Eckenrode E., Agarwal A., Rutkowski J.M. Expanded renal lymphatics improve recovery following kidney injury. Phys Report.2021; 9(22):e15094. doi: 10.14814/phy2.15094. PMID: 34806312; (*co-1st authors).
  2. Creed A., Sanfelippo, A.N., Reyna, A.J., Chakraborty, A., Rutkowski, J.M. Impact of High Fat Diet and Bolus Feeding on Chyle Accumulation in a Mouse Model of Generalized Lymphatic Anomaly. Lymphatic Res. Biol.2021; doi: 10.1089/lrb.2021.0031. PMID: 34748416.
  3. Baranwal G.*, Creed H.A.*, Cromer W.E., Wang W. Upchurch B.D., Smithhart M.C., Vadlamani S.S., Clark M.C., Busbuso N.C., Blais S.N., Reyna A.J., Dongaonkar M, Zawieja D.C., Rutkowski J.M., Dichotomous effects on lymphatic transport with loss of caveolae in mice. Acta Physiol (Oxf).2021; doi: 10.1111/apha.13656. PMID: 33793057. (*co-1st authors)
  4. Creed A., Rutkowski J.M. Emerging roles for lymphatics in acute kidney injury: Beneficial or maleficent? Exp Biol Med (Maywood).2021; 246(7):845-850. doi: 10.1177/1535370220983235. PMID: 33467886.
  5. Rosas C., Warren C.M., Creed H.A., Trzeciakowski J.P., Solaro R.J., Tong C.W. Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C phosphorylation mitigates age-related cardiac dysfunction: Hope for better aging? JACC Basic Transl Sci. 2019; 4(7):817-830. doi: 10.1016/j.jacbts.2019.06.003. PMID: 31998850; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6978553.

Conference Abstracts

  1. Creed, HA, Rutkowski, J.M., “Single-cell sequencing reveals renal lymphatic endothelial cells alter renal inflammatory pathway activation in kidney injury”, APS/ASN 2022, Control of Renal Function in Health and June 26-30, 2022. Charlottesville, Virgnia.
  2. Creed, H.A., Baranwal, G., Rutkowski, J.M., “Impact of Renal Lymphatic Density on the Inflammatory Response to Acute Kidney Injury”, Gulf Coast Vascular Research Consortium, Life Sciences Session, March 18-19, 2022. Shreveport, Louisiana.
  3. Creed, H.A., Sanfelippo, A.N., Chakraborty, A., Rutkowski, J.M., “Impact of Dietary Fatty Acids on Chylous Effusion in a Mouse Model of Generalized Lymphatic Anomaly” Lymphatic Forum 2021, Primary Lymphatic Diseases and Anomalies Session. May 31-June 5, 2021. Virtual.
  4. Creed, A., Sanfelippo, A.N., Chakraborty, A., Rutkowski, J.M., “Impact of Dietary Fatty Acids on Chylous Effusion in a Mouse Model of Generalized Lymphatic Anomaly” Experimental Biology 2021. April 27-30, Virtual.
  5. Creed, H.A., Baranwal, G., Rutkowski, J.M., “Impact of Renal Lymphatic Density on the Inflammatory Response to Acute Kidney Injury” Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, Life Sciences Session, Oct. 19-24, 2020. Virtual.
  6. Tong, C.W., Creed, H.A., Tsai, S., Kuo, L., Hein, T.W., “Coronary Arteriolar Vasomotor Dysfunction Precedes Cardiac Diastolic Dysfunction in Diabetic Cardiomyopathy” American Heart Association, Scientific Sessions, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Nov. 9-11, 2019, Circulation Research, 2019;140: A15341.
  7. Tong, C.W., Wang, L., Jin Y., Liu, Y., Creed, H.A., Wang, J., Muthuchamy, M., Peng, X., “Pressure Stress Triggers Src/Focal Adhesion Kinase Complex to Phosphorylate Tyrosine Residue of Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C” American Heart Association, Scientific Sessions, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Nov. 9-11, 2019, Circulation Research, 2019;140:A15569.
  8. Rosas, P.C., Warren, C.M., Batra, A., Creed, H.A., Solaro, R.J., Tong, C.W., “Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C Phosphorylation in Ser-273 and Ser-282 is Critical to Maintain Cardiac Function During Aging” Basic Cardiovascular Sciences, Scientific Sessions, Boston, Massachusetts July 20, 2019, CirculationResearch, 2019;125: A621.
  9. Tong, C.W., Rosas, P.C., Creed, H.A., Solaro, R.J., “Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C Phosphorylation Mitigates Aging Induced Heart Dysfunction,” American Heart Association, Scientific Sessions, Chicago, Illinois 10-12, 2018, Circulation Research, 2018;138: A15477.

Book Chapters

  1. Creed, H.A., Tong, C.W., 2021. Preparation and Identification of from Whole Heart Samples, in: Methods in Molecular Methods in Molecular Biology, 15–24. doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-1480-8_2.


November 2019-Present, Dr. Joseph Rutkowski Laboratory, Bryan, TX

Graduate Research Assistant

  • Primary project includes determining how lymphatic physiology impacts disease outcomes through immune cell clearance and direct immune cell signaling. My project further investigates how inducing renal lymphangiogenesis may regulate progression of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) through lymphatic specific Sphingosine-1- Phosphate signaling. Inducible transgenic mouse lines are utilized to test the role of lymphatics in renal injury models.

May 2018–August 2019, Dr. Carl Tong Laboratory, Temple, TX

Lab Technician II/Research Assistant

  • Primary project role was to assist in elucidating the role Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein-C (cMyBP-C) holds in immune response and preserved heart function in diastolic dysfunction. Performed experiments utilizing echocardiography, myofibril isolation, heart cannulation and perfusion, trans-aortic constriction, genotyping, biochemistry assays, immune cell isolation, and intact papillary muscle techniques to determine which fraction of cMyBP-C recruits immune cells to the heart and its effectiveness at preventing diastolic dysfunction in transgenic mouse models.

October 2013–December 2017, US Army, Fort Bragg, NC

Engineer Officer

  • Responsible for the management of administration, logistics, project management, and training of a 91 personnel airborne combat engineer company. Maintained accurate accountability of over $17 million dollars’ worth of military equipment. Planned, coordinated, and executed the first international training exercise for airfield seizure and engineering Training occurred in the U.S., Italy, and Germany with over 600 personnel trained. Resulted in future training events planned between organizations. First FAA and Air Force certified airstrip pavement evaluator for the Army.

March 2011–April 2013, Dr. Mary Lidstrom Laboratory, Seattle, WA

Undergraduate Researcher

  • Collected data for a research project evaluating the C1 carbon pathway of the methyloextorquens biomass cycle by using protein knockout experiments to elucidate the role of MtdA in methylamine oxidation in the N-methyl glutamate pathway. Executed laboratory techniques including DNA recombinant technology, PCR, growth cultures, growth curves, protein overexpression, mass spectrometry, HPLC, SE Chromatography, protein purification, anaerobic chamber preparation and light sensitive techniques, and measuring enzyme activity using a photometer.

July 2010–February 2011, Severe Chronic Neutropenia International Registry, Seattle, WA

Disease Database Development

  • Conducted outreach operations to families afflicted with Severe Chronic Neutropenia Schwachmann-Diamond Syndrome to record medical information and establish the global database of treatment and disease-related outcomes for persons diagnosed. Analyzed the occurrence of the disease in family members and length of time between Logged treatment types for the disease and the outcomes in order to provide information to physicians and newly diagnosed alike to increase knowledge of the natural history of the disease and treatment options.

October 2009–June 2010, Biomedical Education and Medical Informatics, Seattle, WA

Research Administrative Assistant

  • Assisted graduate students in the department in filing research-funding requests and finding human research subject volunteers in ongoing projects. Conducted interviews of human subjects to determine eligibility for program enrollments and delivered results to graduate students. Determined funding requirements, approval of funding, and corrections required for research proposals.



August 2022, Biomedical Data Science Certificate, Texas A&M University

  • Certificate in handling large data sets and understanding the underlying principles of computation, systems, and statistics with exercises focused on developing computational competencies using R.

May 2022, Intermediate/Advanced Professional Development Certificate, Texas A&M University

  • Certificate for graduate students focused on developing skills toward academic jobs and with an emphasis on teaching techniques, developing a teaching philosophy, and mentoring.

May 2021, Basic Professional Development Certificate, Texas A&M University

  • Certificate for graduate students focused on learning teaching methods, professional skill sets, and learning to navigate the academic job

September 2020, CIRTL Associate Certificate, Texas A&M University

  • Focused certificate on evidence based undergraduate STEM teaching techniques where effective teaching practices are adapted to lecture and research

May 2018, Graduate Certificate, University of Florida

  • Certificate in Forensic DNA and Serology

  • Academic highlights: Advanced Molecular Techniques, Laboratory QA/QC, Collection and Preservation techniques of DNA, Crime Scene reconstruction, Blood Spatter Analysis

Professional Skills

  • Biosafety Level 3 Certified
  • Spectral Flow Cytometry
  • Familiar with renal tissue clearing techniques and confocal microscopy
  • Single-cell RNA sequencing preparation, data processing, and visualization
  • Basic MATLAB programming
  • Proficient with R and SPSS statistical analysis software
  • Bacteria culture and transformation techniques
  • Echocardiography on mouse models
  • Care and handling of research animals
  • Heart cannulation and perfusion
  • Lymphatic vessel isolation
  • HPLC and analysis of mass spectrometry
  • Anoxic handling of cell cultures
  • Experience in project management (PMP Formal Course complete


2022-Present, Aggie Research Program
Research Team Leader

2020-Present, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
National Trainee Councilor

2020-Present, AP Research Capstone Mentor, Rudder High School
Mentor - Mentored AP research high school students through scientific study design and implementation of their capstone project.

2019-Present, Graduate Student Organization, Texas A&M College of Medicine
President (2021-Present)
Secretary (2020-2021)
Diversity and Inclusion Representative (2020-2021)

2019-Present, Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE)
Active member and volunteer for STEM outreach events

2018-2019, Baylor Scott and White 2018-2019
Emergency Room Volunteer

2010-2018, Army Women’s Mentorship Program
Mentor - Mentored women from all backgrounds for career progression in the Army and pursuing educational opportunities. Assisted in setting goal timelines and tutoring services for academic courses.

2013-2017, US Army Officer
Captain, Engineer

2009-2014, Autism Speaks
Event Organizer and Volunteer

2009-2013, Alpha Xi Delta
Academic Chair (2010-2011) - Assisted in the organization of study plans and tutoring sessions.
Volunteer Chair (2009-2012) - Assisted in event organizing and planning fundraisers for local organizations.


July 2022-Present, American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellow
Immunomodulatory roles of renal lymphatic endothelial cells in Acute Kidney Injury

September 2020-July 2022, NIDDK Diversity Supplement Recipient
Lymphatics and lymphangiogenesis in kidney function and inflammation


2022 APS/ASN Poster Award
American Physiological Society

2021 MCS Zweifach Student Travel Award
Microcirculatory Society

2021 2nd Place Junior Graduate Student Presentation
Texas A&M University College of Medicine, Award

2020 Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador
Texas A&M University College of Medicine, Travel Award

2015 Tyndall Airfield Pavement Evaluation
First Army graduate of an FAA approved airfield certification program

2014 Army Engineer Officer Leadership Course
Graduate with distinction, Top 10%

2010 Army ROTC Scholarship
Full ride Army scholarship

2009 California Distinguished Scholar
Top 10% of California High School Graduates


2020-Present, Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine

2020-Present, American Society of Nephrology

2020-Present, American Heart Association

2020-Present, Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Natives Americans in Science (SACNAS)

2019-Present, Microcirculatory Society

2019-Present, Society of Women in Science and Engineering