Michelle P. Lin, M.D., M.P.H.

Why did you choose to study clinical and translational research?

Mayo Clinic KL2 scholar Michelle P. Lin, M.D., M.P.H.

I have long desired to improve the preclinical diagnosis and treatment of cerebrovascular disease and age-related neurodegenerative disease.

I am very fortunate to have been mentored by a team of clinical researchers in neurology, neuroimaging and epidemiology to build a solid foundation. Building from my skills in clinical research, I wish to contribute to medicine by becoming a clinical trials investigator to test therapies that will decrease the burden of cerebrovascular disease in patients and society.

What type of research are you doing?

Cerebral small vessel disease is common and is associated with stroke and dementia. It is a rising public health concern given the aging population, yet there is currently no treatment. The lack of direct imaging of brain microcirculation to enable early detection of disease progression to guide treatment is a particular challenge in studying small vessel disease.

Because retinal small vessels and cerebral small vessels share physiological characteristics, my research aims to demonstrate that retinal characteristics, particularly retinal vasoreactivity, could serve as markers for early diagnosis of small vessel disease, years before conventional magnetic resonance of the brain could do so.

Why Mayo Clinic?

Mayo Clinic provides world-class medical care by following its core value that "the needs of the patient come first." It attracts patients with complex conditions who seek answers and clinicians and scientists who provide insights and therapies that might not be possible elsewhere.

The institution is a center of excellence in patient care, research and education, and employees have a shared drive to care for and to innovate for our patients. The multidisciplinary team spirit here provides a perfect environment for translational research. I am grateful to be building my early career guided by the three shields of Mayo Clinic.

What are you looking forward to as a KL2 scholar?

The KL2 program provides a structured mechanism for me to gain expertise in optical imaging and functional neuroimaging of retinal and cerebral small vessels. It will allow me to obtain additional training in statistics, with a focus on multiscale biomarkers validation, and develop the skills required to run effective randomized clinical trials to test treatments for cerebral small vessel disease.

Review Dr. Lin's publications on PubMed.



Academic Rank

Assistant Professor of Neurology


Vascular Neurology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Graduate School

Master of Public Health, Dartmouth College

KL2 Appointment Dates

July 2020 to July 2023

Medical School

University of Washington School of Medicine

Multidisciplinary Expertise Utilized

Vascular neurology, behavioral neurology, ophthalmology, neuroradiology


Senior Associate Consultant, Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic


Retinal Vasoreactivity Is a Marker for Cerebral Small Vessel Disease Progression


Neurology, University of Southern California School of Medicine


Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS)