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Lab Manual for SFGH

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Walter E. Finkbeiner, MD, PhD

Research and Clinical Interests

My major clinical interests include autopsy pathology, forensic medicine and pulmonary pathology. My basic research interest focuses on the pathology and pathophysiology of the chronic obstructive lung diseases, particularly cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis and asthma. Using in vitro models of airway surface epithelial and gland cells along with human tissue samples, our laboratory studies differentiation of the airway epithelium, regulation of airway secretion, and composition of respiratory mucus, and mechanisms underlying airway gland hyperplasia.

Selected Publications

  • Finkbeiner WE, Zlock LT, Mehdi I, Widdicombe JH. Cultures of human tracheal gland cells of mucous or serous phenotype. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim 46:450-6, 2010.
  • Derichs N, Jin BJ, Song Y, Finkbeiner WE, Verkman AS. Hyperviscous airway periciliary and mucous liquid layers in cystic fibrosis measured by confocal fluorescence photobleaching. FASEB J 25:2325-32, 2011.
  • Finkbeiner WE, Zlock LT, Morikawa M, Lao AY, Dasari V, Widdicombe JH. Cystic fibrosis and the relationship between mucin and chloride secretion by cultures of human airway gland mucous cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 301:L402-14, 2011.
  • Namkung W, Yao Z, Finkbeiner WE, Verkman AS. Small-molecule activators of TMEM16A, a calcium-activated chloride channel, stimulate epithelial chloride secretion and intestinal contraction. FASEB J 25:4048-62, 2011.
  • Solberg OD, Ostrin EJ, Love MI, Peng JC, Bhakta NR, Hou L, Nguyen C, Solon M, Nguyen C, Barczak AJ, Zlock LT, Blagev DP, Finkbeiner WE, Ansel KM, Arron JF, Erle DJ, Woodruff PG (2012). Airway epithelial miRNA expression is altered in asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 186:965-74, 2012.
  • Zhang L, Gallup M, Zlock L, Finkbeiner W, McNamara NA: Cigarette smoke disrupts the integrity of airway adherens junctions through the aberrant interaction of P120-catenin with the cytoplamic tail of MUC1. J Pathol 229:74-86, 2013.
  • Huang F, Zhang H, Wu M, Kudo M, Woodruff P, Soberg O, Peters C, Donne M, Huang X, Sheppard D, Fahy J, Wolters P, Hogan B, Finkbeiner W, Li M, Jan Y-N, Jan L, Rock J. TMEM16A-CaCC modulates mucin secretion and airway smooth muscle contraction. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109:16354-9, 2012.
  • Zhang L, Gallup M, Zlock L, Finkbeiner W, McNamara NA: Rac1 and CDC42 differentially modulate cigarette smoke-induced airway cell migration through P120-catenin dependent and independent pathways. Am J Pathol 182:1986-95, 2013.
  • Hajighasemi-Ossareh M, Borthwell RM, Stevens JE, Finkbeiner WE, Widdicombe JH: Distribution and size of mucous glands in the ferret tracheobronchial tree. Anat Rec (in press)


  • Finkbeiner WE, Ursell PC, Davis RL: Autopsy Pathology: A Manual and Atlas, 2nd edition. Saunders, 2009.

Additional Information

  • Professor, Vice Chair and
  • Chief of Pathology at SFGH Endowed Chair
  • Pathology

Specialty Area

Autopsy pathology; Experimental Pathology

Contact Information

  • SFGH, Building 3, Room 205B
  • 1001 Potrero Ave.
  • San Francisco, CA 94110

Hospital Affiliation(s)

  • San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center
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