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Amy McNulty, PhD

Amy McNulty, PhD
Assistant Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
Assistant Professor in Pathology

Please click here to view Dr. McNulty's Lab Website.

The long-term goals of the McNulty Lab are to develop strategies to prevent osteoarthritis and to promote tissue repair and regeneration following joint injury. In order to achieve these goals, we need to understand the mechanisms necessary for tissue repair and regeneration and how they are altered with aging and joint injury. Specifically, Dr. McNulty's lab is working to enhance  the integrative repair of meniscus to restore meniscal function and decrease the risk of osteoarthritis development. The lab has identified IL-1 and TNF as inhibitors of integrative meniscal repair and are developing novel methods to suppress inflammation and the downstream mediators of these cytokines to promote tissue repair. Furthermore, Dr. McNulty and her team are working to understand the pathways that are activated by normal and injurious mechanical loading of joint tissues and how these mechanotransduction pathways are altered during aging. A greater understanding of alterations in mechanosensitive signaling mechanisms with aging and injury will likely reveal potential targets to prevent tissue degeneration and osteoarthritis.

For more information, visit Dr. McNulty’s Google Scholars page.

A recent collaboration between the McNulty and DeFrate Labs at Duke, which showed that in vivo cartilage strain increases following medial meniscal tear and correlates with synovial fluid matrix metalloproteinase activity, was highlighted during the Year in Review at the 2015 World Congress on Osteoarthritis.  

Research from our group recently won the 1st place 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society Meniscus Section Poster Award for research entitled:  “Matrix Metalloproteinase Activity and Prostaglandin E2 are Elevated in the Synovial Fluid of Meniscus Tear Patients.”  The authors of this study were Betty Liu, Adam Goode, Teralyn E. Carter, Gangadhar M. Utturkar, Janet L. Huebner, Dean C. Taylor, Claude T. Moorman III, William E. Garrett, Virginia B. Kraus, Farshid Guilak, Louis E. DeFrate, and Amy L. McNulty.

Current Projects

  • Development of tissue engineering and gene therapy strategies to enhance repair of meniscus tears
  • Understanding the chondrocyte mechanome to identify therapeutic targets for joint diseases
  • Understanding meniscus mechanotransduction mechanisms in meniscus health and disease

Selected Publications


  • Amy McNulty, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Noelani Ho, Research Technician
  • Dawn Chasse, Lab Manager and Research Analyst I
  • James Nishimuta, Lab Research Analyst II
  • Ben Andress, Pathology Graduate Student
  • Sofia Hidalgo Perea, Undergraduate Independent Study Student
  • Brian Rhee, Undergraduate Independent Study Student


Positions are available in the McNulty Lab for graduate students, medical students, and postdoctoral researchers. Duke graduate and/or medical students should send an email stating your 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


Medical Sciences Research Building I, 203 Research Drive, Room 367
DUMC Box 3093, Durham, NC 27710