Inside My Lab: Lydia Finley

The Finley Lab investigates how cellular metabolic pathways regulate cell fate decisions in stem cells and cancer cells. We combine genetic and metabolomic approaches to investigate cell-type specific growth requirements and elucidate how flux through central metabolic pathways regulates key cellular activities, including self-renewal and differentiation. In particular, we are interested in understanding how changes in metabolite availability shape the chromatin landscape to influence gene expression programs that control cell survival, growth and differentiation. Our work aims to answer fundamental questions about how cells regulate the commitment to differentiation and how failure to execute terminal differentiation can underlie diseases such as cancer.

Lydia Finley, PhD

Lydia Finley, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research Focus

Lydia Finley studies the mechanisms that link metabolic pathways to cell fate decisions.


PhD, Harvard University

Lab Members

  • α-Ketoglutarate links p53 to cell fate during tumour suppression. Morris JP 4th*, Yashinskie JJ*, Koche R, Chandwani R, Tian S, Chen CC, Baslan T, Marinkovic ZS, Sánchez-Rivera FJ, Leach SD, Carmona-Fontaine C, Thompson CB, Finley LWS#, Lowe SW#. Nature. 2019 Sep;573(7775):595-599. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1577-5. Epub 2019 Sep 18. PMID: 31534224. (*co-first, #co-corresponding)
  • Glutamine independence is a selectable feature of pluripotent stem cells. Vardhana SA, Arnold PK, Rosen BP, Chen Y, Carey BW, Huangfu D, Fontaine CC, Thompson CB, Finley LWS. Nat Metab. 2019 Jul;1(7):676-687. doi: 10.1038/s42255-019-0082-3. Epub 2019 Jul 8. PMID: 31511848
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Selected Achievements
  • Searle Scholars Program
  • Damon Runyon-Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists
  • Jack Sorrell Fellow of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation