Dr. Killian 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.
Dr. Killian received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Michigan Technological University (2010), an MS from Montana State University (in Movement Science/Biomechanics) in 2007, and a BS from Michigan Tech in Biomedical Engineering (2005). She 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. Dr. Killian moved her research laboratory to Michigan in 2020. Dr. Killian is an Early-Career Award winner for the Journal of Orthopaedic Research (2018), an Orthopaedic Research Society New Investigator Research Award winner (2013), the Innovation & Career Development Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society, and the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32) from NIAMS.