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John D. Finan , PhD

Research Scientist
Department of Neurosurgery

Contact Information



PhD. in Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, 2010
M.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, 2005
B.E. in Mechanical Engineering, University College Dublin, Ireland, 2001

Research and Academic Interests

Our lab studies mechanisms and treatment of traumatic brain injury. We use a unique, human, high content, in vitro model of neurotrauma to understand the effect of genotype and/or drug treatment on morbidity. We also have the capacity to test promising interventions in rat and pig models of TBI.

Career Summary

John D. Finan, PhD. is a biomedical engineer specializing in traumatic brain injury.  Originally from Dublin, Ireland, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University College Dublin in 2001 and went on to work on improving helmet technology at Duke University in North Carolina.  At Duke, he also studied cell biomechanics, using microscopy and image analysis to dissect the ways in which physical stresses influence the biological activity of cells.  After receiving his PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 2010, he worked as a post-doctoral research scientist in the lab of Barclay Morrison at Columbia University.  There, he characterized the biomechanics of brain tissue and also developed a new therapeutic strategy for managing post-traumatic brain edema in a mouse model.  He currently runs a translational traumatic brain injury lab in the Department of Neurosurgery at NorthShore University HealthSystem with a broad mission to generate insights that reduce the burden of traumatic brain injury for patients and society as a whole. He has developed a unique model of neurotrauma that involves growing human neurons in a dish and stretching them. Recently, he was awarded an R21 grant by the National Institutes of Health to use this model to search for new medicines for traumatic brain injury.


  1. Finan JD Biomechanical simulation of traumatic brain injury in the rat. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon) 2018 Jan 31 PMID: 29449041
  2. Sindelar B, Shinners M, Sherman S, Erickson K, Patel V, Kubilis P, Finan JD, Bailes JE Reduction in Temporary and Permanent Audiological Injury Through Internal Jugular Vein Compression in a Rodent Blast Injury Model. Otology & neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology 2017 Sep PMID: 28692592
  3. Finan JD, Sundaresh SN, Elkin BS, McKhann GM Regional mechanical properties of human brain tissue for computational models of traumatic brain injury. Acta biomaterialia 2017 Jun PMID: 28351681
  4. Sindelar B, Shinners M, Sherman S, Novak K, Erickson K, Patel V, Kubilis P, Smith D, Finan J, Bailes JE Internal Jugular Vein Compression: A Novel Approach to Mitigate Blast Induced Hearing Injury. Otology & neurotology : official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology 2017 Apr PMID: 28079681
  5. Sherman SA, Phillips JK, Costa JT, Cho FS, Oungoulian SR, Finan JD Stretch Injury of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Neurons in a 96 Well Format. Scientific reports 2016 Sep 27 PMID: 27671211
  6. Sindelar B Effect of Internal Jugular Vein Compression on Intracranial Hemorrhage in a Porcine Controlled Cortical Impact Model. Journal of neurotrauma 2017 04 15 PMID: 27573472
  7. Finan JD, Cho FS, Kernie SG, Morrison B Intracerebroventricular administration of chondroitinase ABC reduces acute edema after traumatic brain injury in mice. BMC research notes 2016 Mar 12 PMID: 26969621
  8. Finan JD, Fox PM, Morrison B Non-ideal effects in indentation testing of soft tissues. Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology 2014 Jun PMID: 23928858
  9. Chen CC, Wu SY, Finan JD, Morrison B An experimental study on the stiffness of size-isolated microbubbles using atomic force microscopy. IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control 2013 Mar PMID: 23475918
  10. Finan JD, Elkin BS, Pearson EM, Kalbian IL, Morrison B Viscoelastic properties of the rat brain in the sagittal plane: effects of anatomical structure and age. Annals of biomedical engineering 2012 Jan PMID: 22012082
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