Caleb Finch, Ph.D.

ARCO/William F. Kieschnick Chair in the Neurobiology of Aging; Professor; University of Southern California


Dr. Finch is Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California, with adjunct appointments in the Departments of Psychology and Neurology. His major research interest is genomic controls of mammalian development and aging, with a focus on gene-environment interactions in brain aging and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Dr, Finch received his undergraduate degree in 1961 from Yale, where he majored in biophysics. His Ph.D. work at Rockefeller University in 1969 explored neuroendocrine mechanisms in stress responses of aging mice. Further work documented glial and neuronal aging during middle-age in healthy humans and rodents; alternate amyloid aggregation to toxic oligomers; hormonal and nutritional influences on glial neurotrophic activity during aging; and most recently, that air pollution promotes inflammation and amyloidogenesis, worsened by ApoE4. In 1984, Finch founded the USC Alzheimer Disease Research Center.

Dr. Finch’s awards include the Robert W. Kleemeier Award of the Gerontological Society of America in 1985, AAAS Fellow in 1987; the Sandoz Premier Prize by the International Geriatric Association in 1995, the Irving Wright Award of AFAR and the Research Award of AGE in 1999.

Dr. Finch has written 600 articles and six books. In 1990, he published Longevity, Senescence, and the Genome, an evolution-based framework for biological aging. In 2000, he co-authored, with Thomas Kirkwood, Chance, Development, and Aging. His latest book is The Role of Global Air Pollution in Aging and Disease (Academic Press, 2018).

Related Research:

Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.

Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Finch, C. E., & Burstein, S. M. Dementia in the Ancient Greco-Roman World Was Minimally Mentioned, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, February 13, 2024, Read More

Haghani, A., Cacciottolo, M., Doty, K. R., D'Agostino, C., Thorwald, M., Safi, N., Levine, M. E., Sioutas, C., Town, T. C., Forman, H. J., Zhang, H., Morgan, T. E., & Finch, C. E. Mouse Brain Transcriptome Responses to Inhaled Nanoparticulate Matter Differed by Sex and APOE in Nrf2-Nfkb Interactions, eLife, June 24, 2020, Read More

Sweeney, M. D., Montagne, A., Sagare, A. P., Nation, D. A., Schneider, L. S., Chui, H. C., Harrington, M. G., Pa, J., Law, M., Wang, D. J. J., Jacobs, R. E., Doubal, F. N., Ramirez, J., Black, S. E., Nedergaard, M., Benveniste, H., Dichgans, M., Iadecola, C., Love, S., Bath, P. M., … Zlokovic, B. V. Vascular dysfunction — The disregarded partner of Alzheimer’s disease, Alzheimer's & Dementia, January 1, 2019, Read More

Cacciottolo, M., Wang, X., Driscoll, I., Woodward, N., Saffari, A., Reyes, J., Serre, M. L., Vizuete, W., Sioutas, C., Morgan, T. E., Gatz, M., Chui, H. C., Shumaker, S. A., Resnick, S. M., Espeland, M. A., Finch, C. E., & Chen, J. C. Particulate air pollutants, APOE alleles and their contributions to cognitive impairment in older women and to amyloidogenesis in experimental models, Translational Psychiatry, January 1, 2017, Read More

Stephen, T. L., Cacciottolo, M., Balu, D., Morgan, T. E., LaDu, M. J., Finch, C. E., & Pike, C. J. APOE, Genotype, and Sex affect microglial interactions with plaques in Alzheimer’s disease mice, Acta Neuropathologica Communications, May 21, 2019, Read More

Cacciottolo, M., Morgan, T. E., & Finch, C. E. Age, sex, and cerebral microbleeds in EFAD Alzheimer disease mice, Neurobiology of Aging, February 28, 2021, Read More

Finch, C. E., & Shams, S. Apolipoprotein E and Sex Bias in Cerebrovascular aging of men and mice, Trends in Neurosciences, August 18, 2016, Read More

Haghani, A., Dalton, H. M., Safi, N., Shirmohammadi, F., Sioutas, C., Morgan, T. E., Finch, C. E., & Curran, S. P. Air Pollution alters C. elegans development and lifespan: responses to traffic-related nanoparticulate matter, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, March 4, 2019, Read More

Trumble, B. C., & Finch, C. E. The Exposome in Human Evolution from Dust to Diesel, Quarterly Review of Biology, December 1, 2019, Read More

Haghani, A., Arpawong, T. E., Kim, J. K., Lewinger, J. P., Finch, C. E., & Crimmins, E. Female vulnerability to the effects of smoking on health outcomes in older people, PLoS One, June 4, 2020, Read More

Woodward, N. C., Levine, M. C., Haghani, A., Shirmohammadi, F., Saffari, A., Sioutas, C., Morgan, T. E., & Finch, C. E. Toll-like receptor 4 in glial inflammatory responses to air pollution in vitro and in vivo, Journal of Neuroinflammation, April 14, 2017, Read More

Shkirkova, K., Lamorie-Foote, K., Zhang, N., Li, A., Diaz, A., Liu, Q., Thorwald, M. A., Godoy-Lugo, J. A., Ge, B., D'Agostino, C., Zhang, Z., Mack, W. J., Sioutas, C., Finch, C. E., Mack, W. J., & Zhang, H. Neurotoxicity of Diesel Exhaust Particles, Journal of Alzheimer's disease, October 11, 2022, Read More

Haghani, A., Thorwald, M., Morgan, T. E., & Finch, C. E. The APOE gene cluster responds to air pollution factors in mice with coordinated expression of genes that differs by age in humans, Alzheimer's & Dementia, November 20, 2020, Read More

Zhang, H., D'Agostino, C., Forman, H. J., Cacciottolo, M., Thorwald, M., Mack, W. J., Liu, Q., Shkirkova, K., Lamorie-Foote, K., Sioutas, C., Pirhadi, M., Mack, W. J., Morgan, T. E., & Finch, C. E. Urban Air Pollution Nanoparticles from Los Angeles: Recently Decreased Neurotoxicity, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, June 29, 2021, Read More

Yassine, H. N., & Finch, C. E. APOE Alleles and Diet in Brain Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, June 10, 2020, Read More

Finch C. E. Air pollution, dementia, and lifespan in the socio-economic gradient of aging: perspective on human aging for planning future experimental studies, Frontiers in Aging, November 13, 2023, Read More

Cacciottolo, M., Morgan, T. E., Saffari, A. A., Shirmohammadi, F., Forman, H. J., Sioutas, C., & Finch, C. E. Traffic-related air pollutants (TRAP-PM) promote neuronal amyloidogenesis through oxidative damage to lipid rafts, Free Radical Biology and Medicine, December 26, 2019, Read More

Nesse, R. M., Finch, C. E., & Nunn, C. L. Does selection for short sleep duration explain huma vulnerability to Alzheimer’s disease?, Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, January 24, 2017, Read More

Thorwald, M. A., Silva, J., Head, E., & Finch, C. E. Amyloid futures in the expanding pathology of brain aging and dementia, Alzheimer's & Dementia, December 19, 2022, Read More