Yvonne Golightly

Yvonne Golightly, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology
3300 Thurston Building
CB #7280
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Golightly is an injury/musculoskeletal epidemiologist and a physical therapist in the Department of Epidemiology with adjunct appointments in the UNC Division of Physical Therapy and the Department of Orthopaedics. She has faculty appointments at the UNC Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. Her research focuses on osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal injury, lower body musculoskeletal disorders, health equity, physical activity, physical rehabilitation, falls, biomechanics, biomarkers, and common comorbid conditions associated with osteoarthritis. She was recently the Principal Investigator (PI) of an NIH R01 project titled “The Role of Joint Hypermobility in Lower Body Osteoarthritis” and the lead PI of an NIH R21 titled “High Intensity Interval Training for Knee Osteoarthritis.” She is co-PI with Dr. Amanda Nelson of the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project and the Johnston County Health Study. Additionally, she is an Associate Editor of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and an Editorial Board Member of Arthritis Care & Research.

Honors and Awards

Outstanding (top 5%) Reviewer
2017, 2018, 2019 , Arthritis Care & Research

Outstanding Reviewer
2015, 2016, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage

European League Exchange Program Award
2016, American College of Rheumatology

Staff/Administrative Duties

Member of North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute Pilot Study Section   

Member of University of North Carolina PhD Epidemiology Admissions Committee  

Co-Director of Research, Osteoarthritis Action Alliance   


  • PhD, Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010
  • MS, Human Movement Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005
  • BS, Physical Therapy, The Ohio State University, 1998