About Elaine Yu, MD, MMSC

Elaine W. Yu, MD, MMSc is a clinical researcher and endocrinologist in the Endocrine Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).  She is currently the Director of the MGH Bone Density Center and Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  She completed medical school and residency at the University of California, San Francisco, and subsequently completed a fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at MGH.  She holds a Masters in Clinical and Translational Research from the Harvard Medical School. Her clinical research interests are in the areas of bone metabolism and obesity.

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Mass General Endocrinology: Thyroid Associates
55 Fruit St.
Wang Ambulatory Care Center
Suite 730
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-8720

Medical Education

  • MMSc, Harvard Medical School*
  • MD, UC San Francisco School of Medicine
  • Residency, UC San Francisco
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, American Board of Internal Medicine

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My research focuses on the dual fields of bone disease and obesity metabolism. Within the bone field, my ongoing research projects include (1) studying skeletal health after bariatric (weight loss) surgery in obese patients, (2) determining the physiologic mechanisms involved in bone loss after bariatric surgery, and (3) using these insights to guide management of bone health in bariatric surgery patients. I have also examined the skeletal impact of proton pump inhibitors, diabetes, and sex steroids, and explored  physiologic effects of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in the treatment of osteoporosis.

Key bone techniques that I am utilizing include high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) for the in vivo assessment of bone microarchitecture, microindentation for the estimation of cortical bone material strength properties, and 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy for the measurement of marrow adiposity characteristics.

Within the obesity field, my research is focused on the impact of gut microbiota modulation on human metabolism. Gut microbiota have been recently identified to play an important role in many aspects of human physiology, including regulating obesity and metabolism. Studies suggest that fecal microbiota transfer (FMT) from lean donors may induce weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity in recipients. I am exploring the use oral capsulized FMT as a novel technique to durably alter the gut microbiome and investigate changes in metabolic endpoints including body weight and insulin sensitivity. The ultimate goal is to determine whether induction of sustainable changes in the gut microbiome can be developed into a therapeutic intervention for obesity and the metabolic syndrome.

My research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


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