Megan Killian

Assistant Professor

Megan Killian, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

5 Innovation Way
Suite 200, Room 136
P: 302-831-7047

Lab Website


  • Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, 2010, Michigan Technological University
  • M.S. in Health and Human Development, 2007, Montana State University
  • B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, 2005, Michigan Technological University


  • Biomechanics
  • Developmental biology
  • Mechanobiology


Research in the Killian Laboratory integrates mechanical engineering and developmental biology principles to develop strategies for improving healing of injured tendon and fibrocartilage.  We are particularly interested in identifying how certain molecular and cellular cues, essential for the maturation of fibrous connective tissues, also regulate healing and adaptation of mature connective tissues following altered mechanical loading. Additionally, our interdisciplinary approaches are identifying the structure/function relationships by which soft, compliant tissues (e.g., tendon, ligament, and cartilage) naturally interface with hard, rigid tissues (e.g., bone). Our main research interests are to (1) understand the role of tendon-, cartilage-, and bone-related factors in enthesis development and growth; (2) identify the role of mechanical loading during tendon/bone healing; and (3) identify the mechanical and molecular mechanism(s) that regulate fibrocartilage and bone remodeling during post-natal growth and healing following injury.

For this research, we utilize in vivo models of joint and tendon injury, 2-D and 3-D bio-imaging techniques, lineage tracing tools, and multi-scale material testing and computation modeling.  Using these tools, our research aims to identify the mechanistic roles of mechanical and biological factors, such as those associated with vertebrate growth and development, during the injury and healing response of the adult musculoskeletal system.


  1. Killian, M.L., Cavinatto, L., Ward, S.R., Thomopoulos, S., & Galatz, L.M. Chronic degeneration leads to poor healing of repaired massive rotator cuff tears in rats. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2015.
  2. Zelzer, E., Blitz, E., Killian, M.L., & Thomopoulos, S. Tendon-to-bone attachment: from development to maturity. Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today, 2014, 102(1):101-112.
  3. Killian, M.L.*, Lim, C.T.*, Thomopoulos, S., Charlton, N., Kim, H-M., & Galatz, L.M. The effect of unloading on gene expression of healthy and injured rotator cuffs. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 2013, 31(8): 1240-1248. [* contributed equally]
  4. Killian, M.L.,Cavinatto, L., Galatz, L.M., & Thomopoulos, S. Recent advances in shoulder research. Arthritis Research and Therapy, 2012, 14(3):214, E-pub.
  5. Killian, M.L., Cavinatto, L., Galatz, L.M., & Thomopoulos, S. The role of mechanobiology in tendon healing. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2012, 21(2):228-237.
  6. Killian, M.L., Isaac, D.I., Haut, R.C., Dejardin, L.M., Leetun, D., & Haut Donahue, T.L. Traumatic anterior cruciate ligament tear and its implications on meniscal degradation: A preliminary novel lapine osteoarthritis model. Journal of Surgical Research, 2010, 164(2):234-241.