Mel Vaughan

Phone: 405-974-5017
Office: 405-974-5725
Email: mvaughan4 at

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Department of Biology,
College of Math and Science,
University of Central Oklahoma

Member of CIBER

Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Education and Research


Research Interests

Dr. Vaughan studies cells and how they interact with their environment. He uses three dimensional tissue models to study problems in areas such as wound healing and regeneration, aging and cancer.

As the primary goal of the University of Central Oklahoma is to engage students in transformative learning, Dr. Vaughan seeks to involve as many students as possible in these studies. With careful planning, Dr. Vaughan is able to manage a number of undergraduate students at different levels of expertise throughout the school year. In addition, through collaboration with regional investigators, Dr. Vaughan is able to introduce students to the cutting edge of biomedical research.



At UCO: Wei Chen, Morshed Khandaker, Gang Xu, Bill Caire, Wayne Lord, Bob Brennan, Tracy Morris


Selected Publications                  Link to Mel Vaughan's NIH Biosketch

o   2014

ˇ         Vaughan, M.B., Odejimi, T.D., Morris, T.L., Sawalha, D., and Spencer, C.L. (2014). A new bioassay identifies proliferation ratios of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts.  Cell Biol Int. 38, 981-6. Link to article

ˇ         Sauder, C.A., Koziel, J.E., Choi, M., Fox, M.J., Grimes, B.R., Badve, S., Blosser, R.J., Radovich, M., Lam, C.C., Vaughan, M.B., Herbert, B.S., Clare, S.E. (2014). Phenotypic plasticity in normal breast derived epithelial cells. BMC Cell Biol. 15:20. Link to article  EurekAlert press release

ˇ         Khandaker, M.P., Vaughan, M.B, Morris, T.L., White, J.J., Meng, Z. (2014). Effect of additive particles on mechanical, thermal, and cell functioning properties of poly(methyl methacrylate) cement. Int J Nanomedicine, 9:2699-712. Link to article

ˇ         Acquaviva, J.T., Wood, E.W., Hasanjee, A., Chen, W.R., Vaughan, M.B. (2014). Effects of laser immunotherapy on tumor microenvironment. Proc SPIE 8944, 894407. Link to article

o   2013

ˇ         Khandaker, M. P., Vaughan, M.B., Starly, B. (2013). The influence of MgO nanoparticles on the osseointegration of polycaprolactone - sodium alginate hydrogel interfaces. British Journal of Applied Science and Technology 4, 79-88. Link to article

ˇ         Acquaviva, J.T., Chen, W.R., Vaughan, M.B. (2013). Biological effects of near-infrared lasers on fibroblast cellular differentiation, proliferation and contraction. Proc SPIE 8582, 858208. Link to article

o   2012

ˇ         Vaughan, M.B., Spencer, C.L., Goddard, J.D., Jose, J., Chen, W.R. (2012) Effect of near-infrared lasers on myofibroblast differentiation and contraction. Proc SPIE 8224, 82240F. Link to article

o   2011

ˇ         Khandaker, M., Li, Y., Liu, P., Vaughan, M.B. (2011). Bioactive Additives and Functional Monomers Effect on PMMA Bone Cement: Mechanical and Biocompatibility Properties. Proc IMECE2011-64369, 915-921. Link to article

ˇ         Nordquist, R.E., Bishop, S.L., Ferguson, H., Vaughan, M.B., Jose, J., Kastl, K., Nguyen, L., Li, X., Liu, H., Chen, W.R. (2011). Immunohistochemical analysis of immune response in breast cancer and melanoma patients after laser immunotherapy. Proc SPIE 7900, 790007. Link to article

o   2000-2010

ˇ         Carnes, B.A., Staats, D.O., Vaughan, M.B., and Witten, T.M. An Organismal View of Cellular Aging. Médecine & Longévité, 2(3):141-150. 2010. Link to article

ˇ         Vaughan, M.B., Ramirez, R.D., Andrews, C.M., Wright, W.E., Shay, J.W. H-Ras Expression in Immortalized Keratinocytes Produces an Invasive Epithelium in Cultured Skin Equivalents. PLoS ONE 4(11): e7908. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007908. 2009. Link to article

ˇ         Tomasek, J.J., Vaughan, M. B., Kropp, B. P., Gabbiani, G., Martin, M. D., Haaksma, C. J., Hinz, B. Contraction of Myofibroblasts in Granulation Tissue is Dependent on Rho/Rho Kinase/Myosin Light Chain Phosphatase Activity. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 14:313-20. 2006.

ˇ         Vaughan MB, Ramirez RD, Wright WE, Minna JD, Shay JW. A three-dimensional model of differentiation of immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells. Differentiation, 74:141-148. 2006.

ˇ         Sato M, Vaughan MB, Girard L, Peyton M, Ramirez RD, Sunaga N, Gazdar AF, Shay JW, Minna JD. Multiple oncogenic changes (KRASv12, p53 knockdown, mutant EGFRs, p16 bypass, telomerase) are not sufficient to confer a full malignant phenotype on human bronchial epithelial cells. Cancer Research, 66:2116-2128. 2006.

ˇ         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 Research, 64:9027-34. 2004.

ˇ         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 Research, 7:99-110. 2004.

ˇ         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, 22:433-44. 2003.

ˇ         Vaughan MB, Howard EW, Tomasek JJ. Transforming growth factor-beta1 promotes the morphological and functional differentiation of the myofibroblast. Experimental Cell Research, 257: 180-189. 2000.




Vertebrate Embryology, Histology, Cell Biology, Molecular Cell Physiology


Mel Vaughan is a member of the American Association of Anatomists, The Wound Healing Society, Oklahoma Academy of Science, and Sigma Xi.



Below left: migrating epithelial tongue into a wounded surface of a skin equivalent (published in Rejuv Res. 2004). Picture on right shows keratin 14 expression in the migrating cells (red) and involucrin expression in the upper, trailing cells (green), suggesting that basal keratinocytes migrate into the cleft in this model. The sectioning, staining, and photography that produced the picture on the right were all done at UCO.


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Kurtis Reitz at cryostat

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