Michael R. York, MD
Assistant Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine

MD, University of Massachusetts Amherst
BS, University of New Hampshire

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.

Boston University
Arthritis & Autoimmune Diseases Research Center

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Leveraging Community-Academic Partnerships and Social Networks to Disseminate Vaccine-Related Information and Increase Vaccine Uptake Among Black Individuals with Rheumatic Diseases
05/10/2022 - 04/30/2024 (Subcontract PI)
Northwestern University NIH NIAMS

ASSET: A Phase II study to evaluate subcutaneous abatacept vs. placebo in diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis - a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized controlled trial [IMI101-344]
03/31/2015 - 06/30/2019 (Co-Investigator)
Regents of the University of Michigan Bristol-Myers Squibb

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Topical C-82 in Systemic Sclerosis-A Phase I/II Biomarker and Safety Trial
04/02/2015 - 04/01/2017 (Co-Investigator)
PI: Robert A. Lafyatis, MD
PRISM Pharma Co Ltd

The Role of Anti-Centromere Antibodies in the Stimulation of Toll-Like Receptor 9 in Systemic Sclerosis
07/01/2007 - 06/30/2010 (PI)
Arthritis Foundation

Stimulation of plasmactoid dendritic cells with nucleic-acid containing immune complexes from Scleroderma patients with ant-centromere antibodies
07/01/2007 - 06/30/2010 (PI)
American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation

The Role of Anti-Centromere Antibodies in Stimulation of Toll-like receptor 9 in Systemic Sclerosis
01/31/2007 - 12/31/2009 (PI)
Scleroderma Federation


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

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.

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  1. Farina A, Rosato E, York M, Gewurz BE, Trojanowska M, Farina GA. Innate Immune Modulation Induced by EBV Lytic Infection Promotes Endothelial Cell Inflammation and Vascular Injury in Scleroderma. Front Immunol. 2021; 12:651013.View Related Profiles. PMID: 33953718; PMCID: PMC8089375; DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.651013;
  2. Bonegio RG, Lin JD, Beaudette-Zlatanova B, York MR, Menn-Josephy H, Yasuda K. Lupus-Associated Immune Complexes Activate Human Neutrophils in an Fc?RIIA-Dependent but TLR-Independent Response. J Immunol. 2019 02 01; 202(3):675-683.View Related Profiles. PMID: 30610165; PMCID: PMC6344272; DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1800300;
  3. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28245863; PMCID: PMC5331713; DOI: 10.1186/s13075-017-1237-9;
  4. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26098215; PMCID: PMC4563675; DOI: 10.1172/JCI77958;
  5. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24350901; PMCID: PMC4040466; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1114576;
  6. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24129067; PMCID: PMC3961515; DOI: 10.1038/jid.2013.423;
  7. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24048117; DOI: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000000020;
  8. York M, Farber HW. Pulmonary hypertension: screening and evaluation in scleroderma. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2011 Nov; 23(6):536-44.View Related Profiles. PMID: 21934501; DOI: 10.1097/BOR.0b013e32834ba6a7;
  9. 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; DOI: 10.1586/eci.11.40;
  10. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 21452274; DOI: 10.1002/acr.20403;
Showing 10 of 21 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 21 publications over 12 distinct years, with a maximum of 3 publications in 2006 and 2010 and 2011 and 2013


2010 Entelligence: Young Investigator Award
2007 American College of Rheumatology: ACR/REF Physician Scientist Development Award
2007 Scleroderma Foundation: Mark Flapan Award
1996 Massachusetts General Hospital: American Liver Foundation Student Scholar

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75 E. Newton St Evans Building
Boston MA 02118
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