Dr. Vaughan’s research is focused on defining and understanding the relevant cell types and molecular mechanisms by which the mammalian lung is able to regenerate after severe injury. He is especially interested in elucidating the means by which epithelial progenitors contribute to repaired airway and alveolar units after various lung insults (influenza, ARDS, fibrosis). His studies suggest that physiological lung function is in fact dictated by progenitor cell fate choices after injury.
Dr. Vaughan and his group have developed a novel orthotopic cell transplantation assay which allows for the direct assessment of engraftment, proliferation, and differentiation potential of these stem cells. Further, he is actively investigating the roles of the Notch, Wnt, and BMP pathways in regulating the differentiation potential and fate of expanded progenitor cells post-injury.
Dr. Vaughan is part of the CAMB (DSRB) graduate group, and is a member of the Penn Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IRM).