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Laura Donlin, PhD

About Dr. Donlin

Dr. Laura Donlin aims to deepen our understanding of autoimmune and musculoskeletal disorders by uncovering molecular patterns found within patient samples. The goal of this work is to create personalized treatment strategies based on patient-specific molecular signatures.

Working closely with HSS rheumatologists and surgeons, Dr. Donlin analyzes patient samples with cutting-edge molecular techniques such as next-generation sequencing. Combining these functional genomics analyses with drug response assays, Dr. Donlin looks to understand how the cellular and molecular profiles found within patient samples relate to treatment responses. Dr. Donlin and colleagues also use cell culture models to study how cells co-evolve during chronic inflammatory responses, with the intent of identifying novel therapeutic targets for autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.


The Donlin laboratory aims to increase understanding of the human immune system by analyzing patient samples with high-dimensional molecular technologies. Our projects are designed around clinical unmet needs of patients with autoimmune and musculoskeletal disorders.

We have projects focused on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and an arthritis condition that results from immune checkpoint inhibitors that are used to treat cancer, as well as myositis, prosthetic joint infections and synovial tumors. Further, our multidisciplinary teams participate in the NIH-industry sponsored Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) consortium that aims to identify novel drug targets in conditions such as RA, as well as the NIH Impact of Genomic Variation on Function (IGVF) consortium that examines how genetic and epigenetic differences impact human disease.

Through these collaborative projects, we aim to improve medical practice through basic science rigor and molecular-focused assays.

Research Interests

  • Autoimmune diseases (eg. rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Human immunology
  • Molecular biology

Specialized Centers

Inflammatory Arthritis Center
Integrative Rheumatology and Orthopedics Center
Precision Medicine Laboratory



Co-Director, HSS Precision Medicine Program
Principal Investigator, HSS Research Institute
Associate Professor, Weill Cornell Medical School and Graduate School


PhD, Columbia University, New York, NY
Postdoctoral Training, Rockefeller University, New York, NY



Publications by Dr. Donlin

Selected Publications

HBEGF+ macrophages in rheumatoid arthritis induce fibroblast invasiveness
Science Translational Medicine. 2019. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau8587.
Kuo D, J Ding, I Cohn, F Zhang, K Wei, D Rao, C Rozo, UK Sokhi, S Shanaj, Oliver DJ, Echeverria A, EF DiCarlo, MB Brenner, VP Bykerk, SM Goodman, S Raychaudhuri, G Rätsch, LB Ivashkiv, LT Donlin.

Defining Inflammatory Cell States in Rheumatoid Arthritis Joint Synovial Tissues by Integrating Single-cell Transcriptomics and Mass Cytometry
Nature Immunology. 2019. doi: 10.1038/s41590-019-0378-1.
Zhang F, K Wei, K Slowikowski, CY Fonseka, DA Rao, S Kelly, SM Goodman, ... , AMP RA/SLE Consortium, … , LT Donlin, JH Anolik, MB Brenner, S Raychaudhuri.

Inching closer to precision treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
Nature Medicine. 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41591-022-01857-5.
Donlin LT.

Sequencing of Circulating Microbial Cell-Free DNA Can Identify Pathogens in Periprosthetic Joint Infections
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 2021. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.20.02229.
Echeverria AP, IS Cohn, DC Danko, S Shanaj, L Blair, D Hollemon, AV Carli, PK Sculco, C Ho, G Meshulam-Simon, C Mironenko, LB Ivashkiv, SM Goodman, A Grizas, GH Westrich, DE Padgett, MP Figgie, MP Bostrom, TP Sculco, DK Hong, MS Hepinstall, TW Bauer, TA Blauwkamp, BD Brause, AO Miller, MW Henry, AA Ahmed, MB Cross, CE Mason, LT Donlin.

For more publications, please see the PubMed listing

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Physicians at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.

As part of the disclosure process, this website lists physician collaborations with outside companies. The disclosures are provided by information provided by the physician and other sources and are updated regularly. Further information may be available on individual company websites.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Donlin as of March 28, 2023.

  • American College of Rheumatology (ACR) - Honoraria
  • American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/Wiley for Chinese Rheumatology - Honoraria

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS physicians with industry on this website, HSS and its physicians make this information available to their patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit physicians to collect royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Patients should feel free to ask their HSS physicians questions about these relationships.

Dr. Donlin in the News