Michelle Rengarajan, MD, PhD

Physician Investigator (Cl)
Endocrine Division, Mass General Research Institute
Instructor in Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Assistant In Medicine
Medicine-Endocrinology (Archived), Massachusetts General Hospital
PhD Stanford University 2016
MD Stanford University School of Medicine 2016
autoimmune endocrine disease; epithelial-immune interactions; human immunology; immune-related adverse events; quantitative cell biology; single cell genomics; systems immunology

Dr. Rengarajan is a physician-scientist working to develop new understanding of and treatments for autoimmune endocrine disease, such as type 1 diabetes, Graves’ disease, and Addison’s disease, which collectively affect 5-10% of Americans. She sees patients with autoimmune endocrine disease, which gives her a nuanced understanding of the natural course of disease progression, from immune infiltration to loss of tissue function, which manifests clinically as hormone deficiency. Dr. Rengarajan's research is at the interface of systems immunology, quantitative cell biology and endocrinology and aims to decipher how aberrant cell-cell interactions cause human disease. 

Dr. Rengarajan focuses on autoimmune thyroid disease, which offers a tractable model system to understand the progression of endocrine autoimmunity in humans. She uses single-cell genomic technologies to study interactions between hormone-producing thyroid cells and immune cells of patients with normal thyroid function and in autoimmune thyroid disease, where these interactions are disrupted. In the long run, this work may influence the development of cellular therapeutics to restore hormone production in diseases such as type 1 diabetes.