Michelle Grunin, PhD

I am a current postdoctoral researcher in translational genetics, collaborating under the mentorship of Dr. Jonathan Haines, chair of the Population and Quantitative Health Sciences department at Case Western Reserve University, and Dr. Shai Carmi of the Public Health department at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. My research focus is on the genetic and immunological underpinnings of multifactorial disorders, especially complex aging disorders like age-related macular degeneration(AMD). My goal is to apply big data and perform genetic and transcriptomic research to find novel clinical pathways, therapies, and biomarkers. Turning basic research into actual improvements in public health care is central to my goal as a researcher. I collaborate with the International AMD Genomics Consortium, the largest collaboration of AMD researchers worldwide. I performed my doctoral studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, under Dr. Itay Chowers, the chair of ophthalmology at Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center. I researched the immune system and the role of monocytes in AMD and performed the largest pharmacogenetics study worldwide, identifying genetic variants influencing AMD treatment response. I was a Baroness Ariane de Rothschild Woman Doctoral Fellow during my doctorate. I did my bachelor’s degree at a division of Touro College in New York, with an internship studying vaccinia virus at SUNY Downstate Hospital and earning honors on my degree.