Director and Senior Investigator, Center for Systems and Therapeutics, Gladstone Institutes
Dr. Finkbeiner received his B.S. summa cum laude in Chemistry from Wheaton College in 1986, and he earned concurrently an MD cum laude and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1991, followed by an Internship and Chief residency at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 1995 Dr. Finkbeiner received a Research Fellowship in the Department of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He then joined The J. David Gladstone Institutes and UCSF in 1999. Currently, Dr. Finkbeiner is the Director of the Center for Systems and Therapeutics and the Taube/Koret Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at Gladstone Institutes, and Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Physiology at UCSF He is active in graduate training and is a member of the Neuroscience, Biomedical Sciences and Medical Scientist Training Programs at UCSF.
Work in Dr. Finkbeiner’s academic research laboratory has focused on studying the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for learning, memory and neurodegeneration. A major focus of his work in the area of neurodegenerative disease has been the role of protein dyshomeostasis in Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and frontotemporal dementia. In this context, he has developed a unique powerful fully automated high throughput single cell analysis platform called robotic microscopy that provides very sensitive measures of phenotypes. This technology has been used to discover disease-related phenotypes in differentiated neurons from patients with neurodegenerative diseases to better understand mechanisms of disease and to find and develop therapeutic strategies. Recently, he has coupled this with deep learning to help discover relationships in large and complex datasets that are difficult or even impossible for humans to comprehend.
Dr. Finkbeiner serves on the scientific advisory board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Huntington Study Group, FasterCures Center at the Milken Institute and at the NEI. Editorial boards include Autophagy, the Journal of Huntington’s Disease, and the journal of Molecular Neuropsychiatry. He is also a Fellow of the American Neurological Association. Dr. Finkbeiner has received awards and honors for his work which include the Lieberman Award, the Taube/Koret Prize, from Nature Biotechnology the Outstanding Research Achievement Award, the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the NINDS, and the ALS Association Essey Award.