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Biological Sciences

Finan Photo

Dr. John Finan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UIC.  In his laboratory, Professor Finan focuses on the development of human in vitro models of traumatic brain injury. His group develops custom-built tools to apply repeatable mechanical trauma to human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells growing in sheets (monolayers) or balls (organoids).

Professor Finan and his students also build new instruments to enable new types of data to be acquired from these cultures. These cells retain the genetic identity of the donor patient and that genetic identity can be precisely manipulated. Therefore, they can be used to address one of the most important questions in TBI: why do some people have bad outcomes when other people with similar injuries recover completely? Professor Finan collaborates with leading neuroscientists and physicians across the Chicago area to tackle these questions.