Toren Finkel, MD, PhD, has said that aging is the biggest risk factor behind chronic diseases—but that could one day change. Dr. Finkel seeks to understand the molecular basis of mammalian aging, specifically how the body and its cells degrade with age and how to counteract this process. He investigates how new drugs, technologies, and lifestyle practices could extend people’s life spans and number of disease-free years. He studies the role of cellular metabolism, mitochondrial function, and oxidative stress in aging and age-related diseases and works to identify signaling pathways and therapies that target aging.
As director of the Pitt and UPMC Aging Institute, Dr. Finkel has advanced the institute’s geroscience research, which focuses on the relationship between aging and disease. Dr. Finkel earned his bachelor’s degree in physics at the University of Maryland and his MD and biophysics PhD at Harvard University. He completed an internal medicine residency at Harvard and a cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.