Toren Finkel, MD, PhD

  • G. Nicholas III and Dorothy B. Beckwith Endowed Chair in Translational Medicine
  • Director of the Aging Institute
  • Professor, Medicine, Cardiology

Education & Training

  • Graduation School – Harvard University – PhD – Biophysics
  • Medical School – Harvard Medical School – MD
  • Internship – Massachusetts General Hospital – Internal Medicine
  • Residency – Massachusetts General Hospital – Internal Medicine
  • Fellowship – Johns Hopkins Hospital - Cardiology

Research Grants

NIH Grants:  1R01HL142663; 1 R01 HL142777-01; P30 AG023427; R01 HL142589 (pending)

Research Summary

Prior to assuming this position in September of 2017, Dr. Finkel spent 25 years at the NIH. His positions there include Chief of the Cardiology Division, and most recently, Chief of the Center for Molecular Medicine, within the NHLBI, NIH. The Finkel lab is interested in understanding the fundamental relationship between aging and age-related diseases. Approaches involve use of novel mouse models and cell-based strategies, including whole genome CRISPR-based screens. A particular focus is on the intersection of mitochondrial function, metabolism and aging. Current projects include the genetic dissection of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter complex, the role of autophagy in vascular aging, and the molecular regulation of mitophagy, including the effects of increased or decreased mitophagy on the propensity for cardiovascular disease, as well as other age-related conditions. The Finkel Lab has published approximately 200 manuscripts in journals such as Science, Nature and the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Finkel is a member of the American Society for Clinical Research (ASCR), the Association of American Physicians (AAP) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He serves on numerous editorial boards including currently serving on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science. Over the course of his career he has trained more than 50 postdoctoral fellows and medical students. Many of these trainees currently hold faculty positions in various leading universities both in the US and abroad.

Representative Publications

  1. Sundaresan M, Yu ZX, Ferrans VJ, Irani K, & Finkel T (1995) Requirement for generation of H2O2 for platelet-derived growth factor signal transduction. Science 270:296-299.           
  2. Liu J, Cao L, Chen J, Song S, Lee IH, Quijano C, Liu H, Keyvanfar K, Chen H, Cao LY, Ahn BH, Kumar NG, Rovira II, Xu XL, van Lohuizen M, Motoyama, N, Deng CX, and Finkel T. (2009). Bmi1 regulates mitochondrial function and the DNA damage response pathway. Nature 459:387-392.
  3. Torisu, T., Torisu, K., Lee, I.H., Liu, J., Malide, D., Combs, C.A., Komatsu, M., Cao, L., and Finkel, T (2013). Autophagy regulates endothelial cell processing, maturation, and secretion of von Willebrand factor. Nature Medicine, 19:1281-1287.                 
  4. Pan X, Liu J, Nguyen T, Liu C, Sun J , Teng Y, Fergusson MM, Rovira II, Allen M, SpringerDA, Aponte AM, Gucek M,Balaban RS, Murphy E, and Finkel T (2013) The physiological role of mitochondrial calcium revealed by mice lacking the mitochondrial calcium uniporter. Nat Cell Biol. 15:1464-72.
  5. Sun N, Yun J, Liu J, Malide D, Liu C., Rovira II, Holmstrom KM, Fergusson MM, Yoo YH, Combs CA and Finkel T (2015) Measuring in vivo mitophagy. Mol. Cell, 60: 685-696.
  6. Xiong J, Kawagishi H, Yan Y, Liu J, Wells QS, Edmunds LR, Fergusson MM, Yu ZX, Rovira, II, Brittain EL, Wolfgang MJ, Jurczak MJ,   Fessel JP and Finkel T. (2018). A Metabolic Basis for Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition. Mol. Cell, 69:689-698.