Toren Finkel, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Professor of Medicine
  • Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Aging Institute

Education & Training

  • B.S., University of Maryland, College Park-Physics,1979
  • Ph.D.,Harvard University, School of Arts and Sciences,1986
  • M.D., Harvard Medical School,1986

Research Interest Summary

For over twenty years, my research group has focused on a range of issues involved in mitochondrial function, cellular metabolism, oxidative stress and aging.

Research Categories

Research Interests

For over twenty years, my research group has focused on a range of issues involved in mitochondrial function, cellular metabolism, oxidative stress, and aging. Due to the wide span of our biological interests, my lab has developed expertise in mitochondrial assays, cell and molecular biology approaches, and the generation of mouse models along with whole animal physiological measurements. Throughout the years, we have worked towards a long-term goal to uncover the molecular basis of mammalian aging and age-related diseases through the study of a variety of different cellular pathways including stem cell self-renewal, reactive oxygen species, sirtuins, autophagy, mTOR signaling and mitochondrial metabolism. Our focus in the last several years has been whether a decline in autophagy might phenocopy aging, strategies to detect and modify in vivo mitophagy and the genetic dissection of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter complex. Our laboratory is situated within the Aging Institute which provides a highly collaborative and interactive environment with researchers focused on various disciplines including those studying the basic biology of aging (e.g. the role of DNA damage), as well as those individuals more focused on age-related diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis). As part of this effort, there is also a small molecule/high throughput discovery unit.

Representative Publications

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

Nemoto S & Finkel T (2002) Redox regulation of forkhead proteins through a p66shc-dependent signaling pathway. Science 295:2450-2452.          

Hill JM, Zalos G, Halcox JP, Schenke WH, Waclawiw MA, Quyyumi AA, and Finkel T (2003). Circulating endothelial progenitor cells, vascular function, and cardiovascular risk. N Engl J Med 348: 593-600.   

Nemoto S, Fergusson MM, & Finkel T (2004) Nutrient availability regulates SIRT1 through a forkhead-dependent pathway. Science 306:2105-2108.     

In, H.L., Cao, L., Mostovslavsky, R., (…), Alt, F.W., Finkel, T. (2008). A role for the NAD-dependent deacetylase Sirt1 in the regulation of autophagy.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105(38): 14447-14452.   

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.                                                                                              

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.    

Pan X, Liu J, Nguyen T, Liu C, Sun J , Teng Y, Fergusson MM, Rovira II, Allen M, Springer DA, 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.

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.  

Xiong J, Kawagashi H, Yan Y, Liu J, Wells Q, Edmunds LR, Fergusson MM, Yu ZX, Rovira II, Brittain E, Wolfgang MJ, Jurczack MJ, Fessel JP and Finkel T (2018) A metabolic basis for endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Molecular Cell 69: 689-698.

Full List of Publications