Megan Killian, PhD

Principal Investigator

Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Affiliate Faculty, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Previous appointments:

Assistant Professor, 2016-2020 (Biomedical Engineering, University of Delaware)

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010-2015 (Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University)

PhD, 2010 (Biomedical Engineering, Michigan Technological University)

MS, 2007 (Movement Science, Biomechanics, Montana State University)

BS, 2005 (Biomedical Engineering, Michigan Technological University)

Megan Killian, PhD, is a biomedical engineer and uses preclinical models to study tendon, muscle, and enthesis loading and repair. The primary goal of her research is to leverage discoveries from basic science to improve musculoskeletal health and movement, especially in pediatric populations. She is an expert in the development, injury, and healing of the tendon-bone attachment (enthesis) and has over a decade of experience using small animal models to study the healing outcomes related to rotator cuff disease following tendon-bone injury. She has developed and used numerous small animal models to study tendon-bone junction healing and regeneration in vivo. Her laboratory studies the cell and tissue-scale mechanisms underlying pediatric and young adult orthopedic disorders (such as joint instability, contracture, and overuse) using micro-computed tomography, histology, molecular and cell biology, transgenic mouse models, and mechanical testing. Her laboratory collaborates with orthopaedic surgeons, basic scientists, and engineers at the University and across the country.

Professor Killian was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in Saint Louis prior to starting her independent research career at the University of Delaware in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. She moved her research laboratory to Michigan Medicine in 2020. Dr. Killian is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award from CMMI/BMMB (2020), the Early-Career Award for the Journal of Orthopaedic Research (2018), the Orthopaedic Research Society New Investigator Research Award (2013), the Innovation & Career Development Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32) from NIAMS.

Megan is a Michigan native and former NCAA Division II collegiate athlete (cross-country, Nordic ski, and track & field). After college, Megan competed in marathon racing, long-distance triathlon, and ultra-relays with many of her collegiate teammates and friends. Traveling to races has been a great way for her to reconnect and run with her college friends that now live across the country. Her favorite places to run are on the trails (Tech Trails, Mt. Baldy, and Copper Harbor in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula; White Clay Creek in Delaware/Pennsylvania; and Pinckney Recreation Area near Ann Arbor).