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Richard S. Finkel, MD
Richard S. Finkel, MD

Richard S. Finkel, MD

Member, St. Jude Faculty

  • Director, Translational Neurology Division

Departments

Divisions

Translational Neurology

Education

MD - Washington University, St. Louis
Neurology Fellowship (Neurology) - Children’s, Beth Israel, Brigham and Women’s and VA Hospitals, Harvard Medical School, Boston
Internship and Residency (Pediatrics) - Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston
BA (Chemistry) - Washington and Jefferson College

Honors & Awards

  • 2017  Bengt Hagberg memorial lecture, Swedish Neuropediatric Society
  • 2018  Sidney Carter Child Neurology Award, American Academy of Neurology
  • 2019  Co-awardee of the International Prize for Translational Neuroscience of the Gertrud Reemtsma Foundation of the Max Plank Institute

Research interests

  • Participation in clinical trials with investigational drugs for pediatric neurologic and metabolic diseases
  • Development of outcome measures, biomarkers, and clinical trial design for pediatric neurologic diseases
  • Understanding the trajectories of change in pediatric neuromuscular diseases: spinal muscular atrophy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth inherited neuropathies.

Selected Publications

Darras BT, Crawford TO, Finkel RS, Mercuri E, De Vivo DC, Oskoui M, Tizzano EF, Ryan MM, Muntoni F, Zhao G, Staropoli J, McCampbell A, Petrillo M, Stebbins C, Fradette S, Farwell W, Sumner CJ. Neurofilament as a potential biomarker for spinal muscular atrophy. Ann Clin Transl Neurol Apr 17;6(5):932-944, 2019. doi: 10.1002/acn3.779. PMID: 31139691

Baker M, Griggs R, Byrne B, Connolly AM, Finkel R, Grajkowska L, Haidet-Phillips A, Hagerty L, Ostrander R, Orlando L, Swoboda K, Watson M, Howell RR. Maximizing the Benefit of Life-Saving Treatments for Pompe Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Through Newborn Screening: Essential Steps. JAMA Neurol May 20, 2019. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.1206. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31107518

Estilow T, Glanzman AM, Burns J, Harrington A, Cornett K, Menezes MP, Shy R, Moroni I, Pagliano E, Pareyson D, Bhandari T, Muntoni F, Laura M, Reilly MM, Finkel RS, Eichinger KJ, Herrmann DN, Troutman G, Bray P, Halaki M, Shy ME, Yum SW. CMTPedS study group. Balance Impairment in Pediatric Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease. Muscle Nerve Apr 26, 2019. doi: 10.1002/mus.26500.

Connolly AM, Zaidman CM, Golumbek PT, Cradock MM, Flanigan KM, Kuntz NL, Finkel RS, McDonald CM, Iannaccone ST, Anand P, Siener CA, Florence JM, Lowes LP, Alfano LN, Johnson LB, Nicorici A, Nelson LL, Mendell JR. MDA DMD Clinical Research Network. Twice-weekly glucocorticosteroids in infants and young boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Muscle Nerve Feb 1, 2019. doi: 10.1002/mus.26441.

Pera MC, Coratti G, Mazzone ES, Montes J, Scoto M, De Sanctis R, Main M, Mayhew A, Muni Lofra R, Dunaway Young S, Glanzman AM, Duong T, Pasternak A, Ramsey D, Darras B, Day JW, Finkel RS, De Vivo DC, Sormani MP, Bovis F, Straub V, Muntoni F, Pane M, Mercuri E. iSMAC Consortium Group. Revised Upper Limb Module for Spinal Muscular Atrophy: 12 month changes. Muscle Nerve Jan 24, 2019. doi:  10.1002/mus.26419.

Finanger E, Vandenborne K, Finkel RS, Lee Sweeney H, Tennekoon G, Yum S, Mancini M, Bista P, Nichols A, Liu H, Fretzen A, Donovan JM. Phase 1 Study of Edasalonexent (CAT-1004), an Oral NF-κB Inhibitor, in Pediatric Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. J Neuromuscul Dis Nov 15, 2018. doi: 10.3233/JND-180341.

Leigh F, Ferlini A, Biggar D, Bushby K, Finkel R, Morgenroth LP, Wagner KR. Neurology Care, Diagnostics, and Emerging Therapies of the Patient With Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Pediatrics Oct;142(Suppl 2):S5-S16, 2018. doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-0333C. PMID: 30275245.

Conklin LS, Damsker JM, Hoffman EP, Jusko WJ, Mavroudis PD, Schwartz BD, Mengle-Gaw LJ, Smith EC, Mah JK, Guglieri M, Nevo Y, Kuntz N, McDonald CM, Tulinius M, Ryan MM, Webster R, Castro D, Finkel RS, Smith AL, Morgenroth LP, Arrieta A, Shimony M, Jaros M, Shale P, McCall JM, Hathout Y, Nagaraju K, van den Anker J, Ward LM, Ahmet A, Cornish MR, Clemens PR. Phase IIa trial in Duchenne muscular dystrophy shows vamorolone is a first-in-class dissociative steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Pharmacol Res Sep 13;136:140-150, 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2018.09.007. PMID: 30219580

Thangarajh M, Elfring GL, Trifillis P, McIntosh J, Peltz SW. Ataluren Phase 2b Study Group. (RS Finkel, listed as contributor). The relationship between deficit in digit span and genotype in nonsense mutation Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Neurology Aug 22, 2018. PMID: 30135256

Scoto M, Finkel R, Mercuri E, Muntoni F. Genetic therapies for inherited neuromuscular disorders. Lancet Child Adolesc Health Aug;2(8):600-609, 2018. Review. PMID: 30119719

Montes J, McDermott MP, Mirek E, Mazzone ES, Main M, Glanzman AM, Duong T, Young SD, Salazar R, Pasternak A, Gee R, De Sanctis R, Coratti G, Forcina N, Fanelli L, Ramsey D, Milev E, Civitello M, Pane M, Pera MC, Scoto M, Day JW, Tennekoon G, Finkel RS, Darras BT, Muntoni F, De Vivo DC, Mercuri E. Ambulatory function in spinal muscular atrophy: Age-related patterns of progression. PLoS One Jun 26;13(6):e0199657, 2018. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199657. PMID: 29944707

Salazar R, Montes J, Dunaway Young S, McDermott MP, Martens W, Pasternak A, Quigley J, Mirek E, Glanzman AM, Civitello M, Gee R, Duong T, Mazzone ES, Main M, Mayhew A, Ramsey D, Muni Lofra R, Coratti G, Fanelli L, De Sanctis R, Forcina N, Chiriboga C, Darras BT, Tennekoon GI, Scoto M, Day JW, Finkel R, Muntoni F, Mercuri E, De Vivo DC. Quantitative Evaluation of Lower Extremity Joint Contractures in Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Implications for Motor Function. Pediatr Phys Ther Jul;30(3):209-215, 2018. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000515. PMID: 29924070

Lochmuller H, Evans D, Farwell W, Finkel R, Goemans N, de Lemus M, Matyushenko V, Muntoni F, Ouillade MC, Schwersenz I, Wilson P. Position Statement: Sharing of Clinical Research Data in Spinal Muscular Atrophy to Accelerate Research and Improve Outcomes for Patients. J Neuromuscul Dis 5(2):131-133, 2018. doi: 10.3233/JND-180325. PMID: 29865093

Glanzman AM, Mazzone ES, Young SD, Gee R, Rose K, Mayhew A, Nelson L, un C, Alexander K, Darras BT, Zolkipli-Cunningham Z, Tennekoon G, Day JW, Finkel RS, Mercuri E, De Vivo DC, Baldwin R, Bishop KM, Montes J. Evaluator Training and Reliability for SMA Global Nusinersen Trials1. J Neuromuscul Dis 5(2):159-166, 2018. doi: 10.3233/JND-180301. PMID: 29865090

Crow RA, Hart KA, McDermott MP, Tawil R, Martens WB, Herr BE, McColl E, Wilkinson J, Kirschner J, King WM, Eagle M, Brown MW, Hirtz D, Lochmuller H, Straub V, Ciafaloni E, Shieh PB, Spinty S, Childs AM, Manzur AY, Morandi L, Butterfield RJ, Horrocks I, Roper H, Flanigan KM, Kuntz NL, Mah JK, Morrison L, Darras BT, von der Hagen M, Schara U, Wilichowski E, Mongini T, McDonald CM, Vita G, Barohn RJ, Finkel RS, Wicklund M, McMillan HJ Jr, Hughes I, Pegoraro E, Bryan Burnette W, Howard JF, Thangarajh M, Campbell C, Griggs RC, Bushby K, Guglieri M. A checklist for clinical trials in rare disease: obstacles and anticipatory actions-lessons learned from the FOR-DMD trial. Trials May 10;19(1):291, 2018. doi: 10.1186/s13063-018-2645-0. Review. PMID: 29793540

Arora H, Willcocks RJ, Lott DJ, Harrington AT, Senesac CR, Zilke KL, Daniels MJ, Xu D, Tennekoon GI, Finanger EL, Russman BS, Finkel RS, Triplett WT, Byrne BJ, Walter GA, Sweeney HL, Vandenborne K. Longitudinal timed function tests in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Imaging DMD cohort natural history. Muscle Nerve May 9, 2018. doi: 10.1002/mus.26161. PMID: 29742798

Batra A, Harrington A, Lott DJ, Willcocks R, Senesac C, McGehee W, Xu D, Mathur S, Daniels MJ, Rooney WD, Forbes SC, Triplett W, Deol JK, Arpan I, Bendixen R, Finkel R, Finanger E, Tennekoon G, Byrne B, Russman B, Sweeney LH, Walter G, Vandenborne K. Two-Year Longitudinal changes in lower limb strength and its relation to loss in function in a large cohort of patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Am J Phys Med Rehabil May 2, 2018. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000957. PMID: 2973423.

Glascock J, Sampson J, Haidet-Phillips A, Connolly A, Darras B, Day J, Finkel , Howell RR, Klinger K, Kuntz N, Prior T, Shieh PB, Crawford TO, Kerr D, Jarecki J. Treatment Algorithm for Infants Diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy through Newborn Screening. J Neuromuscul Dis Mar 26, 2018. doi: 10.3233/JND-180304. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:29614695

Barnard AM, Willcocks RJ, Finanger EL, Daniels MJ, Triplett WT, Rooney WD, Lott DJ, Forbes SC, Wang DJ, Senesac CR, Harrington AT, Finkel RS, Russman BS, Byrne BJ, Tennekoon GI, Walter GA, Sweeney HL, Vandenborne K. Skeletal muscle magnetic resonance biomarkers correlate with function and sentinel events in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. PLoS One Mar 19;13(3):e0194283, 2018. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0194283. PMID: 29554116

Mercuri E, Darras BT, Chiriboga CA, Day JW, Campbell C, Connolly AM, Iannaccone ST, Kirschner J, Kuntz NL, Saito K, Shieh PB, Tulinius M, Mazzone ES, Montes J, Bishop KM, Yang Q, Foster R, Gheuens S, Bennett CF, Farwell W, Schneider E, De Vivo DC, Finkel RS; CHERISH Study Group. Nusinersen versus Sham Control in Later-Onset Spinal Muscular Atrophy. N Engl J Med Feb 15;378(7):625-635, 2018. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1710504. PMID:29443664

Finkel RS, Farwell W. Therapy for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. (response to letter) N Engl J Med Feb 1;378(5):487-488, 2018. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1715769. PMID: 29385371.

Bishop KM, Montes J, Finkel RS. Motor milestone assessment of infants with spinal muscular atrophy using the hammersmith infant neurological Exam-Part 2: Experience from a nusinersen clinical study. Muscle Nerve 57:142-46, 2018. doi: 10.1002/mus.25705. PMID: 28556387.

Kolb SJ, Coffey CS, Yankey JW, Krosschell K, Arnold WD, Rutkove SB, Swoboda KJ, Reyna SP, Sakonju A, Darras BT, Shell R, Kuntz N, Castro D, Parsons J, Connolly AM, Chiriboga CA, McDonald C, Burnette WB, Werner K, Thangarajh M, Shieh PB, Finanger E, Cudkowicz ME, McGovern MM, McNeil DE, Finkel R, Iannaccone ST, Kaye E, Kingsley A, Renusch SR, McGovern VL, Wang X, Zaworski PG, Prior TW, Burghes AHM, Bartlett A, Kissel JT. Neuro NEXT Clinical Trial Network on behalf of the NN101 SMA Biomarker Investigators. Natural history of infantile-onset spinal muscular atrophy. Ann Neurol Dec;82(6):883-891, 2017. doi: 10.1002/ana.25101. PMID: 29149772; PMCID: PMC5776712

Finkel RS*, Mercuri E*, Meyer OH, Simonds AK, Schroth MK, Graham RJ, Kirschner J, Iannaccone ST, Crawford TO, Woods S, Muntoni F, Wirth B, Montes J, Main M, Mazzone ES, Vitale M, Snyder B, Quijano-Roy S, Bertini E, Davis RH, Qian Y, Sejersen T; SMA Care group. Diagnosis and management of spinal muscular atrophy: Part 2: Pulmonary and acute care; medications, supplements and immunizations; other organ systems; and ethics. Neuromuscul Disord Nov23;pii:S0960-8966(17)31290-7, 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2017.11.004. PMID: 29305137 *co-first authors.

Last update: February 2021