Deborah Finkel

Research Scientist (Staff)
Pronouns She / Her / Hers Email


Deborah Finkel is a Research Scientist (50%) at CESR. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a PhD in Behavior Genetics in 1992. Starting in 2018, Deborah has a position as professor of psychology (50%) at Jönköping University in Sweden. Her research focuses on genetic and environmental contributions to cognitive aging using longitudinal twin data, with extended interests in related areas: physical aging, self-rated health, health disparities. She has worked extensively with the Swedish twin studies and is currently PI of GENDER, a study of opposite-sex twins aged 70+ in Sweden, and is on the leadership team of the IGEMS: Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies. She also collaborates with the team currently extending the Louisville Twin Study into midlife. Deborah is past-president of the Behavior Genetics Association and a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.


  • Ph.D. Psychology, University of Minnesota, 1992
  • B.S. Psychobiology and Applied Math, Centre College of Kentucky, 1986
    • Guest Researcher, Karolinska Institutet
  • Tenure Track Appointments

    • Assistant Professor, Indiana University Southeast, 1992-1997
    • Associate Professor, Indiana University Southeast, 1997-2001
    • Professor, Indiana University Southeast, 2001-2022

    Research, Teaching, Practice, and Clinical Appointments

    • Research Scientist, University of Southern California, 2023-
    • Fellow (or Equivalent) of National Society in Discipline, Gerontological Society of America, 2001-CONT
    • Fulbright Award, , 1994-1995
  • Conferences Organized

    • Organizer, Behavior Genetics Association”, 2008-2008

    Editorships and Editorial Boards

    • Associate Editor, Behavior Genetics”, 2008