Megan Killian - NSF Early Career Award

PI: Megan L. Killian, PhD
Assistant Professor

Dr. Killian joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering as an Assistant Professor in 2016. Prior to her faculty appointment at UD, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Stavros Thomopoulos (Washington University in St Louis). At WUSTL, Dr. Killian collaborated with several orthopaedic surgeons, including Dr. Leesa Galatz (shoulder/elbow), Dr. John Clohisy (young adult hip), and Dr. Michael Gardner (trauma). Dr. Killian completed her PhD in Biomedical Engineering in December, 2010, at Michigan Technological University (advisor: Dr. Tammy L. Haut Donahue). Dr. Killian has an MS degree in Movement Science (Montana State University, 2010; advisor: Dr. Michael Hahn) and a BS in BME (Michigan Tech, 2005).

Fun fact: I was an NCAA Division II athlete in three sports (XC, Nordic, and Track & Field).

gscholar twitter-square-logo glyph-logo_may2016_200  linkedin_logo_initials


Ryan Locke, BS
Graduate student, BMEG
Ryan joined the Killian lab in January 2016. Ryan graduated from UD with a BS in Biomedical Engineering in 2015. His research focuses on tendon-bone healing, mechanics, and advanced imaging. Ryan is our resident expert in histology.

Fun fact: I am drawn to the beach (Stone Harbor) and own a miniature dachshund named Macaroni.



Elahe Ganji
Graduate student, MEEG
Elahe officially joined the Killian lab in May 2017. Elahe graduated from Isfahan University of Technology in Iran with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2015. Her research focuses on tendon and bone mechanics. Elahe is our resident expert in tendon biomechanics.

Fun fact: I understand three languages and sing traditional Persian music.


Connor Leek
Graduate student, BMEG
Connor graduated from SUNY at Buffalo in New York with a BS in Biomedical Engineering in 2016. His research focuses on joint spacing and laxity.

Fun fact: I enjoy cooking Mediterranean-themed recipes.


Ellen Dudzinski
Undergraduate Scholar
Ellen joined Killian Lab in October 2017. She is a senior pursuing a BS in Biomedical Engineering, she is a DESG fellow. Her research focuses on Photobiomodulation and its effect on Achilles tendon structure and mechanics.

Fun Fact: I am a fitness instructor and have an amazing rescue dog named Rocky


Kierstyn Hendricks
Undergraduate scholar; NINDS Undergraduate Research Program
Kierstyn joined the Kilian lab in June 2018. She is an undergraduate at Delaware Technical Community College pursuing a BS in Biological Sciences. Kierstyn’s work focuses on tendon-healing and behavorial analysis. In 2018, Kierstyn was a scholar on the NINDS REU Program through Delaware State University.

Fun Fact: I have a black cat named Sevyn that I rescued

Untitled 3.jpg

Keira Morgan
Undergraduate scholar; NIDDK Step-Up Scholar
Keira joined the Killian lab in February 2017. She is a freshman at UD in BME and is investigating the role of metabolism during the development and homeostasis of the tendon-bone attachment.

Fun fact: I am a member of a variety of high school clubs including Jefferson Award, National Honor Society, Marine Science, Anti-Bullying, and a cofounder of Multicultural Club.


Jaclyn Soulas
Undergraduate Scholar
Jaclyn is a UD Honors Program junior pursuing a B.S. in Pre-Veterinary and Animal Biosciences. She is a recipient of the 2018-2019 Delaware Space Grant Consortium internship. Her research focuses on using an immunofluorescent model of the deltoid muscle to study the varying impacts of skeletal muscle innervation throughout musculoskeletal development.

Fun fact: I have been working with therapy horses for almost 8 years!


Stay tuned for profiles from some of our newest undergraduate scholars and graduate students!

Killianlab alum:


Bhavana Aitha
Undergraduate Scholar, 2016-2018
Nursing, University of Delaware

Kacie Breeding
Undergraduate Scholar
Kacie joined Killian Lab for Summer 2018. During the academic year, she attends Vanderbilt University and majors in Biomedical Engineering.

Kacie was a scholar on the NINDS REU Program through Delaware State University.


Patrick Canning
Undergraduate scholar
Biomedical Engineering, University of Delaware
BS 2018
Currently employed at Eurofins


Lindsay Erndwein
2016 Be FIRST! REU Undergraduate Scholar
Penn State University
Lindsay is currently a PhD student in Plant and Soil Science at the University of Delaware, and we still get to work with her through a collaboration with Dr. Erin Sparks! 


Emily Hudson, BS
DE INBRE and undergraduate scholar
Currently employed at Arkion

glyph-logo_may2016_200 linkedin_logo_initials


Kumar Kautharapu, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow (2017)


Beth Lemmon
INBRE and DESGC Undergraduate Scholar
BS Animal Sciences/Pre-Vet Medicine (2018)
Beth joined the Killian lab in January 2016 and received the 2016-’17 Delaware Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate tuition scholarship and the 2017 Delaware INBRE summer scholar. Check out Beth’s first-authored publication in Connective Tissue Research here! Beth is currently pursuing a VMD/PhD dual degree at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Ashish Mahuli
K12 Engineering Research Internship, 2016
Charter School of Wilmington, graduated 2018

Seth Martinez
Undergraduate Research Scholar, 2016-17
Biomedical Engineering, University of Delaware
BS 2018

Geoffrey Ming
M.S. in Biomedical Engineering (December 2018)

Untitled 4

Brandon Okeyo
NIDDK Step-Up Scholar, 2017-2018
Undergraduate at UD in Neuroscience


Nicholas Ruggiero
Undergraduate Scholar
Biomedical Engineering, University of Delaware
BS 2018
Nick joined the Killian lab in January 2016. He is a senior pursuing a BS in Biomedical Engineering. He was a UD/UDRF Summer Scholar. His research focused on Fgf signaling pathways during postnatal growth. Nick is currently a research technician/scientist at Thomas Jefferson University.


Megan Smith
Undergraduate Scholar
Megan joined the Killian lab during the summer when she is home from college, and started with us in May 2017 during her summer break. She is a junior pursuing a dual-degree BS in Political Science and Biological Science at the University of Pittsburgh. She was a 2018 Delaware INBRE Summer Scholar. Her work focused on identifying the role of Fgf deletion on glial and neuorgenic markers in the brain and limbs.


Michael Sonnenfelt, BS
Former graduate student (BMEG), 2016-2017
Currently employed at QPS

Mario Soto Soto
Undergraduate Scholar; CBER REU
University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez
Summer 2018 


Ania Szostek
Undergraduate Scholar
Pre-Vet Medicine
glyph-logo_may2016_200  linkedin_logo_initials


Kendra Wernlé, BS
Lab Technician
UD BS CANR alumni (2016)
Kendra took a year off from working as a technician in the lab to volunteer for World Teach in American Samoa (Talofa!). Forever the world traveler, Kendra is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Switzerland!