Steven Finkbeiner

Affiliation: 

  • Director of the Center for Systems and Therapeutics and the Taube/Koret Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at The J. David Gladstone Institutes
  • Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Physiology at theUniversity of California, San Francisco

Link to group website: Website

Bio

Dr. Finkbeiner earned a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College in 1986, summa cum laude in chemistry, and concurrently earned an MD and a PhD in neuroscience from Yale University in 1991, cum laude in medicine. He completed an internship in internal medicine in 1992 and chief residency in 1995 in neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), followed by a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School in 1998. After his fellowship and a term as an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Finkbeiner returned to UCSF as a Professor of Neurology. He is now the Director of the Taube/Koret Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and a Senior Investigator at the J. David Gladstone Institutes. (https://gladstone.org/science/center-for-systems-and-therapeutics)

In addition Dr. Finkbeiner is a faculty member in the Biomedical Sciences Program, the Neuroscience Graduate Program and the Medical Sciences Training Program at UCSF. In 2008 he received the Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award from the UCSF Graduate Student Association. Since 2009 he has been a fellow of the American Neurological Association. In 2005 he received the Lieberman Award and the Taube/Koret Prize for outstanding work on Huntington’s disease. He has also received the Outstanding Research Achievement Award from Nature Biotechnology and the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and is a member of many scientific and professional societies, including the Society for Neuroscience, the Society for Cell Biology and the Biophysical Society.

With philanthropists in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Finkbeiner established the Taube/Koret Center, which works to develop the most promising discoveries from the lab into therapeutics, often in partnership with drug companies. Dr. Finkbeiner is best known for his pioneering work on neurodegenerative diseases. He invented a robotic microscopy, a unique fully automated high throughput single cell analysis platform 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. Work in his 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 frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.