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Classes Taught

  • BIO2211 Cell Biology Laboratory
  • BIO2203 Cell Biology
  • BIO3414 Histology
  • BIO4454/5454 Molecular Cell Physiology


Department of Biology:

Professor (2012-present)
Assistant Chair (2017-2020)
Interim Chair (2020-2022)

Program Coordinator, Oklahoma INBRE Program (2015 - present)

Education and Certifications

  • B.S. in Botany 1987, University of Oklahoma
  • Ph.D. Anatomical Sciences/Cell Biology 1998, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow 1999-2004, UT Southwestern Medical Center


What do wound healing, liver cirrhosis, Dupuytren's Contracture, hypertrophic scars and keloids have in common? The myofibroblast, a connective tissue cell, is present in all cases. I primarily study Dupuytren's contracture; this disease may cause the ring and/or pinky finger to flex (pull into the palm) because scar tissue is forming around the tendon. My research team tests hypotheses in vitro (in culture) using myofibroblasts that came from the disease. In my Cell Biology lab class (BIO 2211) we conduct preliminary tests for future research studies that are conducted in my lab with graduate and undergraduate students. With the help of Dr. Gang Xu in Engineering, we use optical coherence tomography to see how cells manipulate scar tissue in culture. I use my cell biology expertise to collaborate with my colleagues Drs. Christina Hendrickson (cancer studies), Amanda Waters (natural products chemistry), Bob Brennan (biofilm effects), Mohammad 'Robi' Hossan (fluid flow effects on cells), and Morshed Khandaker (polycaprolactone nanofiber effects on cells). By presenting our research at conferences and publishing in scientific journals, our hope is that other scientists and clinicians will find treatments for myofibroblast diseases someday.

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities


Khandaker M, Nomhwange H, Progri H, Nikfarjam S, Vaughan MB. Evaluation of Polycaprolactone Electrospun Nanofiber-Composites for Artificial Skin Based on Dermal Fibroblast Culture. Bioengineering (Basel). 2022 Jan 6;9(1):19. doi: 10.3390/bioengineering9010019. PMID: 35049727.


Tidwell K, Harriet S, Barot V, Bauer A, Vaughan MB, Hossan MR. Design and Analysis of a Biodegradable Polycaprolactone Flow Diverting Stent for Brain Aneurysms. Bioengineering (Basel). 2021 Nov 12;8(11):183. doi: 10.3390/bioengineering8110183. PMID: 34821749; PMCID: PMC8614946.

Konari PR, Clayton YD, Vaughan MB, Khandaker M, Hossan MR. Experimental Analysis of Laser Micromachining of Microchannels in Common Microfluidic Substrates. Micromachines (Basel). 2021 Jan 28;12(2):138. doi: 10.3390/mi12020138. PMID: 33525394.


Doan KT, Kshetri P, Attamakulsri N, Newsome DR, Zhou F, Murray CK, Chen WR, Xu G, Vaughan MB. The Effect of Chitosan Derivatives on the Compaction and Tension Generation of the Fibroblast-populated Collagen Matrix. Molecules. 2019 Jul 26;24(15). pii: E2713. doi: 10.3390/molecules24152713.

Vaughan MB, Xu G, Morris TL, Kshetri P, Herwig JX. Predictable fibroblast tension generation by measuring compaction of anchored collagen matrices using microscopy and optical coherence tomography. Cell Adh Migr. 2019 Dec;13(1):303-314.


Khandaker M, Riahinezhad S, Sultana F, Morris T, Wolf R, Vaughan M. Effect of Collagen-Polycaprolactone Nanofibers Matrix Coating on the In Vitro Cytocompatibility and In Vivo Bone Responses of Titanium. J Med Biol Eng. 2018 Apr;38(2):197-210.

Obioma CC, Layton E, Doan KT, Xu G, Zhou F, Chen WR, Vaughan MB. Effect of near infrared lasers and glycated chitosan on myofibroblast differentiation and contraction. Proceedings of the SPIE. 2018 February; 10495:1049518. doi: 10.1117/12.2292250.


Khandaker M, Riahinezhad S, Jamadagni HG, Morris TL, Coles AV, Vaughan MB. Use of Polycaprolactone Electrospun Nanofibers as a Coating for Poly(methyl methacrylate) Bone Cement. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2017 Jul 10;7(7). doi: 10.3390/nano7070175. PubMed PMID: 28698500; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5535241.

Layton E, McNamar RA, Hasanjee AM, McNair C, Stevens B, Vaughan MB, Zhou F, Chen WR. The effects of single-walled carbon nanotubes on cancer cell migration using a pancreatic tumor model. Proceedings of SPIE--the International Society for Optical Engineering. 2017 February; 10065:1006535. doi: 10.1117/12.2253471.


Khandaker M, Riahinezhad S, Li Y, Vaughan MB, Sultana F, Morris TL, Phinney L, Hossain K. Plasma nitriding of titanium alloy: Effect of roughness, hardness, biocompatibility, and bonding with bone cement. Biomed Mater Eng. 2016 Nov 25;27(5):461-474. doi: 10.3233/BME-161600. PubMed PMID: 27885994.

Khandaker M, Riahinezhad S, Sultana F, Vaughan MB, Knight J, Morris TL. Peen treatment on a titanium implant: effect of roughness, osteoblast cell functions, and bonding with bone cement. Int J Nanomedicine. 2016;11:585-94. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S89376. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 26893563; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4745826.


Vaughan MB, Odejimi TD, Morris TL, Sawalha D, Spencer CL. A new bioassay identifies proliferation ratios of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts. Cell Biol Int. 2014 Aug;38(8):981-6. doi: 10.1002/cbin.10289. Epub 2014 May 6. PubMed PMID: 24764319.

Sauder CA, Koziel JE, Choi M, Fox MJ, Grimes BR, Badve S, Blosser RJ, Radovich M, Lam CC, Vaughan MB, Herbert BS, Clare SE. Phenotypic plasticity in normal breast derived epithelial cells. BMC Cell Biol. 2014 Jun 10;15:20. doi: 10.1186/1471-2121-15-20. PubMed PMID: 24915897; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4066279.

Khandaker M, Vaughan MB, Morris TL, White JJ, Meng Z. Effect of additive particles on mechanical, thermal, and cell functioning properties of poly(methyl methacrylate) cement. Int J Nanomedicine. 2014;9:2699-712. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S61964. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24920906; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4043713.

Khandaker M, Vaughan MB, Starly B. The Influence of MgO Nanoparticles on the Osseointegration of Polycaprolactone-Sodium Alginate Hydrogel Interfaces. British Journal of Applied Science & Technology. 2014 January; 4(1):79-88. doi: 10.9734/BJAST/2014/5404.


Acquaviva JT, Chen WR, Vaughan MB. Biological effects of near-infrared lasers on fibroblast cellular differentiation, proliferation and contraction. Proceedings of SPIE--the International Society for Optical Engineering. 2013 February; 8582:858208. doi: 10.1117/12.2001432.

2010 and older

Carnes BA, Staats DO, Vaughan MB, Witten TM. An organismal view of cellular aging. Médecine & Longévité. 2010 September; 2(3):141-150. doi: 10.1016/j.mlong.2010.06.002.

Vaughan MB, Ramirez RD, Andrews CM, Wright WE, Shay JW. H-ras expression in immortalized keratinocytes produces an invasive epithelium in cultured skin equivalents. PLoS One. 2009 Nov 19;4(11):e7908. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007908. PubMed PMID: 19936293; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2774948.

Tomasek JJ, Vaughan MB, Kropp BP, Gabbiani G, Martin MD, Haaksma CJ, Hinz B. Contraction of myofibroblasts in granulation tissue is dependent on Rho/Rho kinase/myosin light chain phosphatase activity. Wound Repair Regen. 2006 May-Jun;14(3):313-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2006.00126.x. PubMed PMID: 16808810.

Vaughan MB, Ramirez RD, Wright WE, Minna JD, Shay JW. A three-dimensional model of differentiation of immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells. Differentiation. 2006 Apr;74(4):141-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-0436.2006.00069.x. PubMed PMID: 16683984.

Sato M, Vaughan MB, Girard L, Peyton M, Lee W, Shames DS, Ramirez RD, Sunaga N, Gazdar AF, Shay JW, Minna JD.Multiple oncogenic changes (K-RAS(V12), p53 knockdown, mutant EGFRs, p16 bypass, telomerase) are not sufficient to confer a full malignant phenotype on human bronchial epithelial cells. Cancer Res. 2006 Feb 15;66(4):2116-28. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-2521. PubMed PMID: 16489012.

Ramirez RD, Sheridan S, Girard L, Sato M, Kim Y, Pollack J, Peyton M, Zou Y, Kurie JM, Dimaio JM, Milchgrub S, Smith AL, Souza RF, Gilbey L, Zhang X, Gandia K, Vaughan MB, Wright WE, Gazdar AF, Shay JW, Minna JD. Immortalization of human bronchial epithelial cells in the absence of viral oncoproteins. Cancer Res. 2004 Dec 15;64(24):9027-34. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-04-3703. PubMed PMID: 15604268.

Vaughan MB, Ramirez RD, Brown SA, Yang JC, Wright WE, Shay JW. A reproducible laser-wounded skin equivalent model to study the effects of aging in vitro. Rejuvenation Res. 2004 Summer;7(2):99-110. doi: 10.1089/1549168041552982. PubMed PMID: 15312297.

Ramirez RD, Herbert BS, Vaughan MB, Zou Y, Gandia K, Morales CP, Wright WE, Shay JW. Bypass of telomere-dependent replicative senescence (M1) upon overexpression of Cdk4 in normal human epithelial cells. Oncogene. 2003 Jan 23;22(3):433-44. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1206046. PubMed PMID: 12545164.

Vaughan MB, Howard EW, Tomasek JJ. Transforming growth factor-beta1 promotes the morphological and functional differentiation of the myofibroblast. Exp Cell Res. 2000 May 25;257(1):180-9. doi: 10.1006/excr.2000.4869. PubMed PMID: 10854066.

Kropp BP, Zhang Y, Tomasek JJ, Cowan R, Furness PD 3rd, Vaughan MB, Parizi M, Cheng EY. Characterization of cultured bladder smooth muscle cells: assessment of in vitro contractility. J Urol. 1999 Nov;162(5):1779-84. PubMed PMID: 10524934.

Tomasek JJ, Vaughan MB, Haaksma CJ. Cellular structure and biology of Dupuytren's disease. Hand Clin. 1999 Feb;15(1):21-34. Review. PubMed PMID: 10050239.

Tomasek JJ, Haaksma CJ, Eddy RJ, Vaughan MB. Fibroblast contraction occurs on release of tension in attached collagen lattices: dependency on an organized actin cytoskeleton and serum. Anat Rec. 1992 Mar;232(3):359-68. doi: 10.1002/ar.1092320305. PubMed PMID: 1543260.


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