Cell Biology Program

The Lydia Finley Lab


Lydia Finley, PhD
Lydia Finley, PhD
Geoffrey Beene Junior Faculty Chair

Associate Professor

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.

Publications Highlights

A non-canonical tricarboxylic acid cycle underlies cellular identity. Arnold PK, Jackson BT, Paras KI, Brunner JS, Hart ML, Newsom OJ, Alibeckoff SP, Endress J, Drill E, Sullivan LB, Finley LWS. Nature. 603: 477-481. 2022.

Amino acid intake strategies define pluripotent cell states. Todorova PK, Jackson BT, Garg V, Paras KI, Chen Y, Baksh SC, Yan J, Hadjantonakis, A, Finley LWS. Nature Metabolism. 6: 127-140. 2024.

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Lydia Finley, PhD

Lydia Finley, PhD

Geoffrey Beene Junior Faculty Chair

Associate Professor

  • Lydia Finley studies the mechanisms that link metabolic pathways to cell fate decisions.
  • PhD, Harvard University
  • BS, Yale University
[email protected]
Email Address
Office Phone


Julia Brunner
Julia Brunner

Research Fellow

Jossie  J Yashinskie
Jossie J Yashinskie

Graduate Student

Katrina Paras
Katrina Paras

Graduate Student

Benjamin Jackson
Benjamin Jackson

Graduate Student

Abigail Xie

Graduate Student

Anna Bridgeman

MSK Bridge Program Scholar

Natasha Freidman

Research Fellow

Sonia Das
Sonia Das

Sr. Administrative Assistant

Xianbing Zhu

Research Fellow

Lab Alumni
Pavlina Todorova, PhD
Pavlina Todorova

Research Associate

Paige Arnold
Paige Arnold

Postdoctoral Associate at Rockefeller University, New York, NY

Yanyang Chen
Yanyang Chen

Research Technician

Yuma Tada
Yuma Tada

Graduate Student

Sanjeethan Baksh
Sanjeethan Baksh

Medical Resident

Lin Hedehus

Graduate Research Assistant

Lab Affiliations


  • New York Stem Cell Foundation – Robertson Investigator (2023)
  • Louise and Allston Boyer Young Investigator Award for Basic Research (2022)
  • National Cancer Institute R37 MERIT Award (2020)
  • Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Cancer Research (2020)
  • Searle Scholar (2018)
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  • Dale F. Frey Breakthrough Award of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation (2017)

Lab News & Events


Team Recognitions

  • Julia Brunner, Kravis WiSE Fellowship (2024)
  • Abby Xie, NIH/NCI F31 (2023)
  • Paige Arnold, Gerstner Sloan Kettering Chairman’s Prize (2022)
  • Paige Arnold, Weintraub Award (2022)
  • Sanjeethan Baksh, STAT Wunderkind (2022)
  • Benjamin Jackson, NIH/NICHD F31 (2022)
  • Katrina Paras, Bruce Charles Forbes Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (2021)
  • Benjamin Jackson, Gerstner Sloan Kettering Grayer Fellowship (2021)
  • Julia Brunner, Human Frontier Science Program Fellowship (2021)
  • Sanjeethan Baksh, Olaf S. Anderson Physician-Scientist Award (2021)
  • Paige Arnold, NIH/NICHD F31 (2019)
  • Jossie Yashinskie, AACR Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award (2018)
  • Jossie Yashinskie, NIH/NICHD T32 fellowship (2018)

Open Positions

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Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.

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Lydia Finley discloses the following relationships and financial interests:

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