Internist/Pediatrician ,Pediatric Radiology , Rheumatology and Pediatric Rheumatology

Terri Helman Finkel , MD

Nemours Childrens Hospital
13535 Nemours Pkwy
Orlando, FL 32827

(407) 567-4000


I serve as Chair of Pediatrics and Chief Scientific Officer at Nemours Childrens Hospital. My laboratory studies the role that genetics and environment play in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease, immune dysregulation in HIV infection, and pathways to identification of novel targets and innovative therapeutics for immune system disease. The lab has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1990. These studies bridge molecular biology, biochemistry, mouse models, and translational medicine: - Cell signaling in T-cell development and deployment : A key question in T-cell development is how T-cells are selected to live or die, a critical process in producing a healthy immune system able to fight infection without triggering autoimmunity. Studying signal transduction in immature thymocytes, Dr. Finkel discovered that developing T-cells previously thought to be unresponsive and inert were able to receive and transmit cellular signals (Nature 330:179-181, 1987; Cell 58:1047-1054, 1989). Recent work has focused on mechanisms of triggering of the T-cell receptor for antigen (TCR; PLoS Biology 6: e43, 2008; Science Editors Choice 319: 1460, 2008; Frontiers in Immunology 3:1-3, 2012), exploiting single molecule studies to determine how viruses escape from cytotoxic T-cell immune responses, a key question in developing vaccines for AIDS and other global infections. - Cell death in HIV pathogenesis and therapy : Dr. Finkel was the first to show that the HIV surface protein, gp120, primes T-cells for suicide (Journal of Experimental Medicine 176:1099-1106, 1992). In studies of in vivo human and macaque infection, her team showed that, paradoxically, apoptosis occurs predominantly in bystander cells and only rarely in productively infected cells (Nature Medicine 1:129-134, 1995), solidifying the concept of "bystander death" in AIDS. Ongoing studies (Blood 227:1260-1269, 2011; PLoS Pathogens, in press) have identified novel cellular genes that regulate T cell apoptosis, cell cycle, and possibly latency the major impediment to cure in HIV infection, and include preclinical studies of a gene therapy targeting siRNA against one such gene to selectively kill HIV-infected cells. - Genes and environment in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity : Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a complex phenotype that likely is determined by interactions between multiple genetic factors. In collaboration with more than 15 centers of pediatric rheumatology world-wide, Dr. Finkel conducted one of the first genome-wide studies of JIA and identified an association of the TRAF1-C5 genomic region with JIA (Arthritis Rheum 58:2206-2208, 2008). In recent studies in more than 10,000 patients and controls, her team identified the chemokine receptor, CXCR4, as a novel genome-wide significant JIA risk factor, contributing ~2-fold protection from this crippling disease. The extensive literature surrounding the biology of CXCR4 in health and disease, and the ready availability of targeted therapeutic agents, make CXCR4 a particularly attractive candidate for drug development.

Gender: Female

Years in Practice: 40 Years

Languages Spoken: English


Internist/Pediatrician ,Pediatric Radiology , Rheumatology and Pediatric Rheumatology

Hospital Affiliations

  • Nemours Childrens Hospital

Education and Training

Medical School
Stanford University School Of Medicine Graduated in 1982

Main Location

Fax: (904) 469-7562
Website: Not available
Accepting New Patients: No
Medicare Accepted: No
Medicaid Accepted: No

Office Hours:


Other Locations

University Of Tennessee Pediatric Rheumatology
51 N Dunlap St Ste 400
Memphis, TN 38105
(901) 287-7337

Fax:(901) 138-7515
Accepting New Patients: Yes
Medicare Accepted:Yes
Medicaid Accepted:No

Office Hours:

Mon8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Tue8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Wed8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Thu8:00 AM-4:00 PM
Fri8:00 AM-4:00 PM

Ut Medical Group Pediatrics
(901) 866-8815

Fax:(901) 126-6663
Accepting New Patients: Yes
Medicare Accepted:Yes
Medicaid Accepted:No

Office Hours:

Mon8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Tue8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Wed8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Thu8:00 AM-5:00 PM
Fri8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Insurance Plans Accepted

Please verify insurance information directly with your doctor’s office as it may change frequently.
  • Aetna Choice POS II
  • Aetna HMO
  • Aetna Managed Choice POS Open Access
  • Aetna Signature Administrators PPO
  • Aexcel PPO
  • Ambetter Superior Health Plan
  • Avmed Choice
  • AvMed Empower
  • AvMed Engage
  • BCBS Blue Card PPO
  • BCBS FL Blue Choice
  • BCBS Florida myBlue
  • BCBS TN Blue Network S
  • Blue Network P
  • Coventry FL Employer Group PPO
  • First Health PPO
  • Florida Blue BlueCare HMO
  • Florida Blue BlueOptions
  • Florida Blue BlueSelect
  • Florida Blue SimplyBlue
  • Humana Choice POS
  • Humana ChoiceCare Network PPO
  • Humana HMO
  • Humana HMO Premier
  • Humana HMO Select
  • Humana National POS
  • Humana Preferred PPO
  • Multiplan PPO
  • MVP Liberty EPO/PPO
  • Neighborhood Health Partnership Commercial
  • UHC Choice Plus POS
  • UHC Compass HMO
  • UHC Navigate HMO
  • UHC Navigate POS
  • UHC Options PPO