Creating a New Kind of Doctor
We recruit and train physician leaders as comfortable taking on systemic challenges in health as caring for individual patients.
Discovery to Impact — Faster
We reward creative thinking and encourage rapid experimentation, using collaborative programs to speed promising research to market.
Improving Care. Improving Health.
We’re here to make health — including health care — better. The end goal is a complete revolution in how people get and stay healthy.
In This Section
More Information
Health in the Landscape of Life
Enabling the healthscape, the ecosystem outside the clinic, requires improving the system to pay for health drivers.
More Information
Meet Dell Med
We’re rethinking the role of academic medicine in improving health — and doing so with a unique focus on our community.
More Information
Make an Appointment Give Faculty Students Alumni Directory

Richard H. Finnell, Ph.D


Ph.D., Medical Genetics
University of Oregon Medical School

M.Sc., Medical Genetics
University of British Columbia


Postdoctoral Fellowship
Anatomische Institut, UniversitÌ_t Zurich


Richard H. Finnell, Ph.D., is an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics.

A pediatric geneticist, Finnell has been involved in investigating genetic susceptibility to environmentally induced birth defects, applying stem cell technology to the detection of potential teratogenic compounds in efforts to prevent these birth defects, developing mouse models to understand the pathogenesis of the defects, and using highly innovative approaches to treating these disabilities.

He has authored more than 310 publications in journals such as science, nature genetics, nature cell biology, proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Developmental Cell. His early work with murine embryonic stem cells established the dire embryonic consequences of folate deficiency during embryonic development.

The Finnell laboratory is focused on how folic acid transport impacts or modifies the impact of teratogenic agents on embryonic development. This work takes advantage of his training as a pediatric geneticist, as well as a background grounded in developmental and molecular biology and teratology. The Finnell laboratory uses the latest genome editing approaches to create novel transgenic mouse models and to dissect out critical events during embryonic development that result in structural birth defects.

Finnell has significant experience working with neural crest cell models and has developed novel 3-D neurocyst culture techniques as well as creating induced pluripotent stem cell from NTD patients that can be used to both screen candidate compounds for their teratogenicity and to better understand their underlying mechanism of action.

The Finnell Laboratory has been fortunate to receive continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health for decades.

Professional Affiliations
  • Teratology Society, 2015-2016
    Vice President Elect
  • American Society of Human Genetics
Awards & Honors
  • Distinguished Achievement Award in Research, 1997
    Texas A&M University
  • Wilson Publication Award, 2000, 2004, 2009
    Teratology Society
  • Warkany Lecturer, 2008
    Teratology Society