Katie Hixon

Assistant Professor of Engineering

Clinical Assistant Professor of Orthopaedics


Professor Hixon's research focuses on tissue engineering/regenerative medicine strategies to improve treatment and facilitate healing in patients with congenital and traumatic craniofacial anomalies, as well as those with delayed or failed musculoskeletal healing. Prior to joining the Dartmouth faculty, Hixon earned a PhD in biomedical engineering at Saint Louis University. Her research broadly included tissue engineering scaffold fabrication for the treatment of critical-size defects and craniofacial/maxillofacial congenital conditions. Following this, she completed a postdoctoral position in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Here she was awarded the NIH F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award to study bone healing following fracture and develop a clinically relevant animal model to test therapeutic interventions. Hixon's work will continue to contribute cutting-edge research utilizing orthopaedic and craniofacial models to drive the development of novel tissue engineering/regenerative medicine therapies, impacting dental, oral, craniofacial, and musculoskeletal health.

Research Interests

Tissue engineering; regenerative medicine; biomaterials and scaffolds; craniofacial reconstruction; orthopaedics; critical-size defects; fracture healing


  • BS, Biomedical Engineering, University of Iowa 2014
  • PhD, Biomedical Engineering, Saint Louis University 2018


  • F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), 2019–2021
  • Rising Star in Engineering in Health (Columbia University), 2020
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE) St. Louis Service Award, 2018
  • Graduate Dissertation Fellow (Saint Louis University), 2017–2018
  • Brennan Summer Fellow (Saint Louis University), 2017
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Award (Saint Louis University), 2016

Professional Activities

  • Chair, Education Initiatives Committee, International Section of Fracture Repair (ISFR), ORS (2022-present)
  • Special Issue Guest Editor, Open Access Journal Gels ("Cryogel Scaffolds") (2022)
  • Member, Education Initiatives Committee, International Section of Fracture Repair (ISFR), ORS (2019–present)
  • Member, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR)
  • Member, Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)
  • Member, Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS)
  • Member, Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
  • Member, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Selected Publications

  • Olevsky LM, Anup A, Jacques M, Keokominh N, Holmgren EP, Hixon KR. Direct Integration of 3D Printing and Cryogel Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering. Bioengineering. (2023) 10(8):889.
  • Robertson EM, Hixon KR, McBride-Gagyi SH, Sell SA. Bioactive impact of manuka honey and bone char incorporated into gelatin and chitosan cryogels in a rat calvarial fracture model. J Biomed Mater Res. (2023) 111(10): 1763-1774.
  • Vesvoranan O, Anup A, Hixon KR. Current Concepts and Methods in Tissue Interface Scaffold Fabrication. Biomimetics. (2022) 7(4):151.
  • McKenzie JA, Galbreath IM, Coello AF, Hixon KR, Silva MJ. VEGFA from osteoblasts is not required for lamellar bone formation following tibial loading. Bone. (2022) 163: 116502.
  • Hixon KR, and Miller AN. Animal Models of Impaired Long Bone Healing and Tissue Engineering‐ and Cell‐based in Vivo Interventions. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 40.4 (2022): 767–778.
  • Hixon KR, et al. Ablation of Proliferating Osteoblast Lineage Cells After Fracture Leads to Atrophic Nonunion in a Mouse Model. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research : JBMR. 36.11 (2021): 2243–2257.
  • Hixon KR, Bogner SJ*, Ronning-Arnesen G*, Janowiak Mulligan BE, Sell SA. Investigating Manuka Honey Antibacterial Properties When Incorporated into Cryogel, Hydrogel, and Electrospun Tissue Engineering Scaffolds. Gels: Cryogelation and Cryogels (2019) 5(2): 21. Invited Contribution. PMID: 31003516. (* indicates authors contributed equally)
  • Hixon KR, Lu T, Carletta MN, McBride‐Gagyi SH, Janowiak BE, Sell SA. A preliminary in vitro evaluation of the bioactive potential of cryogel scaffolds incorporated with Manuka honey for the treatment of chronic bone infections. J Biomed Mater Res Part B (2018) 106B:1918–1933. PMID: 28960886
  • Alarcon De La Lastra A, Hixon KR, Aryan LM, Banks AN, Hall AF, Sell SA. Dissolvable 3D-Printed Molds for Patient Specific Craniofacial Bone Regeneration. J Funct Biomater (2018) 9(3): 46. PMID: 30042357
  • Haas G, Dunn A, Marcinczyk M, Talovic M, Schwartz M, Scheidt R, Patel A, Hixon KR, Elmashhady H, McBride-Gagyi SH, Sell SA, Garg K. Biomimetic Sponges for regeneration of skeletal muscle following trauma. J Biomed Mater Res A (2018) 107(1): 92-103. PMID: 30394640
  • Hixon KR, Melvin A, Lin AY, Hall AF, Sell SA. Cryogel Scaffolds from Patient-Specific 3D-Printed Molds for Personalized Tissue Engineered Bone Regeneration in Pediatric Cleft-Craniofacial Defects. J Biomater Appl (2017) 32(5):598-611. PMID: 28980856
  • Hixon KR, Lu T, McBride-Gagyi SH, Janowiak BE, Sell SA. A Comparison of Tissue Engineering Scaffolds Incorporated with Manuka Honey of Varying UMF. Biomed Res Int (2017). PMID: 28326322


  • ENGS 56: Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
  • ENGS 164: Tissue Engineering