Photo of Michelle Yau, PhD, at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research in Boston, MA

Michelle Yau, PhD, MPH

  • Assistant Scientist II
  • Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Faculty

Dr. Michelle Yau is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant Scientist at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife. She is a genetic epidemiologist with expertise in genome-wide association studies, multi-omics studies, and application of Mendelian Randomization methods to investigations of musculoskeletal traits, including osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Dr. Yau currently leads an NIA/NIAMS-funded effort to study the epigenetic basis of multiple joint osteoarthritis in the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study. Other ongoing projects include integration of sequencing and epigenetics/proteomics data to identify novel risk factors for osteoarthritis, application of RNA-sequencing to human tissue explants to identify novel genes underlying bone marrow lesions in osteoarthritis, and use of Mendelian randomization to examine drug repurposing opportunities in osteoarthritis.

Dr. Yau received a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park, an MPH in Epidemiology from The George Washington University, and a PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She completed her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School. She currently serves as a member of the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) Engagement Committee and is a past member of the OARSI Young Investigator Committee. 

Research Areas

Learn more about the areas of research where Dr. Yau focuses.

A researcher at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research in Boston, MA holds a vial of blood.

Biomarkers and Genetics

As precision medicine enters the mainstream of clinical care, Marcus Institute researchers are working to advance the understanding of disease biomarkers and genetics.

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A research subject at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research stands on a measuring platform with a computer read-out reflected on the wall behind.

Physical Health and Function

Through the Marcus Institute’s research we are learning how older adults can maintain independence and quality of life.

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Current Projects

View Dr. Yau's current projects. 

Systemic Contribution of Age-Associated Epigenetic Mechanisms to Osteoarthritis

This research aims to identify potential new targets for Osteoarthritis therapy by identifying key age-associated biological mechanisms underlying Osteoarthritis pathogenesis. The objective of this project is to determine the role of epigenetic changes to genes in key aging pathways on Osteoarthritis.

NIH R01AR075356

Principal Investigator