Robert W. Finberg, M.D. ’74

2018 Dominick P. Purpura Distinguished Alumnus Award

Dr. Robert Finberg is the Richard M. Haidack Professor and Chair of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care. His work has yielded notable advances, among them characterizing a major cellular receptor for viruses, the coxsackie and adenovirus receptor, and its role in picornavirus infection and gene delivery for adenovirus vectors as well as in cardiac development. His research on innate immunity defined the importance of “pattern recognition proteins,” including toll-like receptors, CD14 and helicases, in the virus-host interaction. He leads a multicenter study to predict the evolution of influenza viruses. His clinical expertise extends from prevention and primary care to treating severely immunocompromised patients. Dr. Finberg received his A.B. from the University of Chicago and his M.D. from Einstein (Alpha Omega Alpha, 1974). He then trained at Bellevue and Peter Bent Brigham Hospitals, followed by fellowships at Brigham and Harvard Medical School. He rose to be a professor of medicine at Harvard (M.A., 1996), and in 1999 he joined UMass as chair of the department of medicine. He has written more than 240 peer-reviewed journal articles and 65 book chapters. Dr. Finberg has chaired a National Institutes of Health study section and is a member of many academic societies, including the, American Society for Clinical Investigation and American Association of Physicians, and is an Academy Fellow of the American Society of Microbiology.

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