Dr. Michelle Yau is a T32-funded post-doctoral research fellow in the Musculoskeletal Research Group at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife. Her research focuses on identifying the genetic/genomic contributions to common age-associated conditions such as osteoarthritis (OA), osteoporosis, and intervertebral disc degeneration.
Dr. Yau’s current research aims to identify the genetic components of OA and its relationship to bone. She is particularly interested in bone marrow lesions as an endophenotype for OA. Bone marrow lesions are a specific MRI-feature that may reflect areas of damage in the subchondral bone and represent some of the earliest changes underlying OA pathophysiology. To further understand the genetic contribution to bone marrow lesions, she is conducting a large-scale genome-wide association meta-analysis study of bone marrow lesions and a RNA-sequencing study of OA bone samples. Dr. Yau is also involved in other studies to identify clinical and epigenetic factors related to OA, genetic components of other musculoskeletal endophenotypes such as finger length and bone shape, and African ancestry-specific genetic contributions to bone mineral density.
Dr. Yau received a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, MPH in Epidemiology from The George Washington University, and PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Maryland. She is an active member of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) Research Methodology Committee and Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) Young Investigator Committee.