amy mcnulty
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
Associate Research Professor of Cell Biology
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology
Affiliate of the Duke Regeneration Center
Contact Information


The McNulty Lab is developing strategies to prevent osteoarthritis and promote tissue repair and regeneration following joint injury. To accomplish this, we are working in three main areas. 1) We are working to understand the pathways activated by normal and injurious mechanical loading of cartilage and meniscus and how these mechanotransduction pathways are altered during aging, injury, and tissue degeneration. A greater understanding of alterations in mechanosensitive signaling mechanisms with aging and injury will likely reveal potential targets to promote tissue repair and prevent degeneration and osteoarthritis development. 2) We are developing meniscus tissue-engineered constructs that will be utilized to repair and replace meniscus tissue lost due to injury and surgical resection. 3)  We are focusing on the biological and biomechanical changes in the joint following meniscus injury and how these may contribute to osteoarthritis development.   

Our Team Through the Years

mcnulty 2016

mcnulty 2018

mcnulty 2020

mcnulty 2022

mcnulty 2017

mcnulty 2019

mcnulty 2021

mcnulty 2023



1. Development of tissue engineering and gene therapy strategies to enhance repair of meniscus tears

Mcnulty projects
Scanning electron microscope images of meniscus-derived matrix (MDM) scaffolds
Mcnulty projects 2
Meniscus cells (green) readily grow into and fill the scaffolds in meniscus defects

2) Understanding the chondrocyte mechanome to identify therapeutic targets for joint diseases

Mcnulty projects 3
Extracellular matrix production (red= proteoglycans) is decreased in old chondrocytes

3) Understanding meniscus mechanotransduction mechanisms in health and disease


Past Members

  • Benjamin Andress, Graduate Student 2018 – 2022Current Position: Clinical Chemistry Fellowship at Mayo Clinic
  • Paulo ArrigoniVisiting Research Scholar 2018-2019Current Position: Orthopaedic surgeon at ASST ovest Milanese, Hospital of Legnano, Milan, Italy
  • Kevin BetschResearch Technician IIJune 2020 – May 2023Current Position: Research Analyst I, Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University Medical School
  • Keileen FeiMedical Student Researcher 2021 – 2022Current Position: Medical Student, Duke University
  • Saman Firoozi, Postdoctoral Associate, 2022–2023
  • Gavin GonzalesDuke University Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) Fellow Summer 201; Current Position: Graduate Student at Duke University
  • Noelani HoUndergraduate BioCoRE (Biosciences Collaborative for Research Engagement) Fellow Sept 2015 – May 2017, Research Technician I July 2017- Aug 2018Current position: Medical Student at the University of North Carolina
  • Abigail Holt, Research Tech II – 7/2019 thru 7/2021Current Position: Masters Student, UNC Public Health
  • Rebecca IrwinPost-doctoral Associate 2020-2021Current Position: Post-doctoral Fellow, Cornell University
  • Jason KimAug 2018-May 2019 Undergraduate InternAug 2019-May 2020 Undergraduate Independent Study Student;  Current Position: Medical Student, Rush Medical College
  • Lucas LyonsResearch Technician II 2018 – 2020Summer 2021Current Position: Medical Student, Upstate Medical School
  • James Nishimuta, Research Analyst 2014–2018; Current Position: Product Research Engineer, Align Technology
  • Sofia Hidalgo Perea, Jan 2018-May 2020 Undergraduate Independent Study Student;  Current Position: Medical Student, Stony Brook University
  • Jacob RuprechtUndergraduate Pratt School of Engineering FellowJan 2015 – July 2016Current Position: Senior Mechanical Engineer at Farapulse
  • Jennifer StencelUndergraduate Pratt School of Engineering FellowJan 2016 – Feb 2017Current Position: MBA/JD Candidate, University of Michigan
  • Bailey StinnettBME Master’s Student Intern 2/20-8/20,  BME Mater’s Independent Study Student 8/20-11/2; Current Position: Medical Student, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Current Members

Research Analyst and Laboratory Manager
Biomedical Engineering PhD
Pathology PhD
Research Technician II
Pathology PhD
Research Technician II

Research Opportunities

Available positions in the McNulty Lab are for graduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral researchers. Duke graduate and/or medical students should send an email stating their interest in a research rotation. Postdoctoral candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three professional references. These items should be sent to

Note: Although no positions are currently available, we encourage you to check this page for updates. Thank you!

News and Events

Fun in the McNulty Lab!

McNulty Lab activities
(l to r): Minions costumes - Halloween 2022; Disc Golf; Scooby-Doo costumes - Halloween 2019; and Prism costumes - Halloween 2021