Faculty Profile

Caleb Finch Ph.D.

ARCO/ Kieschnick Professor
of Gerontology and Biological Science and University Professor



  1. Basic mechanisms in the human biology of aging, with focus on inflammation and nutritional influences.
  2. Air pollution influences on aging
  3. Evolution of the human lifespan and diseases of aging, especially Alzheimer disease.


Dr. Finch’s major research interest is the study of basic mechanisms in human aging with a focus on inflammation. He has received most of the major awards in biomedical gerontology, including the Robert W. Kleemeier Award of the Gerontological Society of America in 1985, the Sandoz Premier Prize by the International Geriatric Association in 1995, and the Irving Wright Award of AFAR and the Research Award of AGE in 1999. He was the founder of the NIA-funded Alzheimer Disease Research Center in 1984 and currently serves as co-Director. Dr. Finch became a University Distinguished Professor in 1989, an honor held by sixteen other professors at USC who contribute to multiple fields. He is a member of five editorial boards and has written four books and 475 articles. A new research area is the effect of air pollution on brain development and aging, which he is developing through a USC-wide network (AirPollBrain website http://envneurosci.usc.edu/APB)

Courses Taught

Bisc 510a Integrative and Evolutionary Biology (a: 4, Fa; b: 4, Sp) Current topics in integrative and evolutionary biology including genetics, natural selection, ecology with emphasis on higher order complex questions including form, function, and energy use throughout the life span.

Bisc 549b Seminar in Integrative and Evolutionary Biology (2, max 6, FaSp) Current topics in integrative and evolutionary biology.

Gero 416 Health Issues in Aging (4, Sp) Physiological, psychological, and social health problems of older people; organizational factors in health care delivery.

Contact Info

E-mail: cefinch@usc.edu

Mailing Address:

University of Southern California
Davis School of Gerontology
3715 McClintock Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0191

Office Location: GER 336

Office Phone: (213) 740-1758

Fax: (213) 740-0792


  • BS, Yale, 1961
  • Ph.D., Rockefeller University, 1969


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Curriculum Vitae

Mazumder B, Almond D, Park K, Crimmins EM, Finch CE (2010) Lingering prenatal effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on cardiovascular disease. J Devel Origins Health Dis 1:26-34.

Finch CE (2010) Evolution of the human lifespan and diseases of aging: roles of infection, nutrition, and nutrition.PNAS, 107 (suppl. 1) 1718-1724.

Vasunilashorn S, Crimmins EM, Kim J-K, Winking J, Gurven M, Kaplan H, Finch CE (2010) Blood lipids, infection and inflammatory markers in the Tsimane of Bolivia, a highly infected population. J Human Biol 22: 731-740.

Kirkwood TB, Cordell HJ, Finch CE (2011) Speed-bumps ahead for the genetics of later-life diseases. Trends in Genetics. 27:387-388.

Morgan TE, Davis DD, Iwata N, Tanner JM, Snyder D, Ning Z, Kam W, Hsu YT, Winkler JW, Chen JC, Petasis NA, Baudry M, Sioutas C, Finch CE. Glutamatergic neurons in rodent models respond to nanoscale particulate urban air pollutants in vivo and in vitro. Env Health Perspect 119:1003-1009.

Finch CE (2012) The evolution of the  human lifespan, past present and future. Trans Am Philosoph Soc 156: 9-44