Last Name

Michael R. York, MD

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionBoston University School of Medicine
DivisionRheumatology (Arthritis)
Address75 E. Newton St Evans Building
Boston MA 02118
Phone(617) 638-4524
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-2507-3834
 Awards and Honors

1996Massachusetts General Hospital: American Liver Foundation Student Scholar
2007Scleroderma Foundation: Mark Flapan Award
2007American College of Rheumatology: ACR/REF Physician Scientist Development Award
2010Entelligence: Young Investigator Award
 Research Expertise & Professional Interests
Our group is currently investigating the role of the innate immune system on the development of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma). This disease is characterized by thick skin and scarring of internal organs such as the lungs as well as vascular problems such as Raynaud’s phenomenon, pulmonary hypertension and gangrene. We are trying to determine how the immune system causes these problems and develop new therapeutics to treat this disease.

We are currently focusing on how dysfunction of the patient’s immune system occurs and how this leads to vascular and fibrotic disease. We are focusing on receptors of the innate immune system called toll-like receptors that typically recognize viral or bacterial DNA or RNA. Recently it has been found that immune complexes found in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or Scleroderma can trigger these receptors by allowing self-DNA or RNA to enter cells, thereby overcoming some of the protective mechanisms preventing the host to develop an immune response against itself.

 Self-Described Keywords
  • endothelial cells
  • innate immunity
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • scleroderma
  • systemic sclerosis
  • morphea
  • localized scleroderma
  • linear scleroderma
  • en coup de sabre
  • Parry-Romberg
  • Raynaud's Disease
  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Digital ulcers
  • interstitial lung disease
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
List All   |   Timeline
  1. Farina A, Peruzzi G, Lacconi V, Lenna S, Quarta S, Rosato E, Vestri AR, York M, Dreyfus DH, Faggioni A, Morrone S, Trojanowska M, Farina GA. Epstein-Barr virus lytic infection promotes activation of Toll-like receptor 8 innate immune response in systemic sclerosis monocytes. Arthritis Res Ther. 2017 Feb 28; 19(1):39. PMID: 28245863.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Rice LM, Padilla CM, McLaughlin SR, Mathes A, Ziemek J, Goummih S, Nakerakanti S, York M, Farina G, Whitfield ML, Spiera RF, Christmann RB, Gordon JK, Weinberg J, Simms RW, Lafyatis R. Fresolimumab treatment decreases biomarkers and improves clinical symptoms in systemic sclerosis patients. J Clin Invest. 2015 Jul 1; 125(7):2795-807. PMID: 26098215.
    View in: PubMed
  3. van Bon L, Affandi AJ, Broen J, Christmann RB, Marijnissen RJ, Stawski L, Farina GA, Stifano G, Mathes AL, Cossu M, York M, Collins C, Wenink M, Huijbens R, Hesselstrand R, Saxne T, DiMarzio M, Wuttge D, Agarwal SK, Reveille JD, Assassi S, Mayes M, Deng Y, Drenth JP, de Graaf J, den Heijer M, Kallenberg CG, Bijl M, Loof A, van den Berg WB, Joosten LA, Smith V, de Keyser F, Scorza R, Lunardi C, van Riel PL, Vonk M, van Heerde W, Meller S, Homey B, Beretta L, Roest M, Trojanowska M, Lafyatis R, Radstake TR. Proteome-wide analysis and CXCL4 as a biomarker in systemic sclerosis. N Engl J Med. 2014 Jan 30; 370(5):433-43. PMID: 24350901.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Farina A, Cirone M, York M, Lenna S, Padilla C, McLaughlin S, Faggioni A, Lafyatis R, Trojanowska M, Farina GA. Epstein-Barr virus infection induces aberrant TLR activation pathway and fibroblast-myofibroblast conversion in scleroderma. J Invest Dermatol. 2014 Apr; 134(4):954-64. PMID: 24129067.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Kissin EY, Garg A, Grayson PC, Dubreuil M, Vradii D, York M, Simms RW. Ultrasound assessment of subcutaneous compressibility: a potential adjunctive diagnostic tool in eosinophilic fasciitis. J Clin Rheumatol. 2013 Oct; 19(7):382-5. PMID: 24048117.
    View in: PubMed
  6. York M, Farber HW. Pulmonary hypertension: screening and evaluation in scleroderma. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2011 Nov; 23(6):536-44. PMID: 21934501.
    View in: PubMed
  7. York MR. Novel insights on the role of the innate immune system in systemic sclerosis. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2011 Jul; 7(4):481-9. PMID: 21790291.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Buhaescu I, Rhee S, York MR, McDonnell M, Merkel PA. A woman with severe lupus nephritis and difficult to control diabetes mellitus. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Apr; 63(4):623-9. PMID: 21452274.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Farina G, York M, Collins C, Lafyatis R. dsRNA activation of endothelin-1 and markers of vascular activation in endothelial cells and fibroblasts. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011 Mar; 70(3):544-50. PMID: 21068089.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Farina GA, York MR, Di Marzio M, Collins CA, Meller S, Homey B, Rifkin IR, Marshak-Rothstein A, Radstake TR, Lafyatis R. Poly(I:C) drives type I IFN- and TGFß-mediated inflammation and dermal fibrosis simulating altered gene expression in systemic sclerosis. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Nov; 130(11):2583-93. PMID: 20613770.
    View in: PubMed
  11. van Bon L, Popa C, Huijbens R, Vonk M, York M, Simms R, Hesselstrand R, Wuttge DM, Lafyatis R, Radstake TR. Distinct evolution of TLR-mediated dendritic cell cytokine secretion in patients with limited and diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 Aug; 69(8):1539-47. PMID: 20498209.
    View in: PubMed
  12. Lafyatis R, York M. Innate immunity and inflammation in systemic sclerosis. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2009 Nov; 21(6):617-22. PMID: 19633559.
    View in: PubMed
  13. Lafyatis R, Kissin E, York M, Farina G, Viger K, Fritzler MJ, Merkel PA, Simms RW. B cell depletion with rituximab in patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis. Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Feb; 60(2):578-83. PMID: 19180481.
    View in: PubMed
  14. York MR, Nagai T, Mangini AJ, Lemaire R, van Seventer JM, Lafyatis R. A macrophage marker, Siglec-1, is increased on circulating monocytes in patients with systemic sclerosis and induced by type I interferons and toll-like receptor agonists. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Mar; 56(3):1010-20. PMID: 17328080.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Lafyatis R, York M, Marshak-Rothstein A. Antimalarial agents: closing the gate on Toll-like receptors? Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Oct; 54(10):3068-70. PMID: 17009223.
    View in: PubMed
  16. Hunter DJ, York M, Chaisson CE, Woods R, Niu J, Zhang Y. Recent diuretic use and the risk of recurrent gout attacks: the online case-crossover gout study. J Rheumatol. 2006 Jul; 33(7):1341-5. PMID: 16758506.
    View in: PubMed
  17. York M, Hunter DJ. Initial combination therapy with prednisone or infliximab improved outcomes in early rheumatoid arthritis more than DMARDs alone. ACP J Club. 2006 May-Jun; 144(3):72. PMID: 16646616.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Weber KS, York MR, Springer TA, Klickstein LB. Characterization of lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1)-deficient T cell lines: the alphaL and beta2 subunits are interdependent for cell surface expression. J Immunol. 1997 Jan 1; 158(1):273-9. PMID: 8977199.
    View in: PubMed
  19. Klickstein LB, York MR, Fougerolles AR, Springer TA. Localization of the binding site on intercellular adhesion molecule-3 (ICAM-3) for lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1). J Biol Chem. 1996 Sep 27; 271(39):23920-7. PMID: 8798624.
    View in: PubMed
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