Gregory D. Fairn


Scientist, Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science


Dr. Greg Fairn is a Staff Scientist in the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Fairn is trained in a variety of disciplines including Cell Biology, Immunology, Genetics and Biochemistry. He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in both the Department of Surgery and Biochemistry, as well as an Associate Member of the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto.  He also holds appointments at the Hospital for Sick Children and the Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology (iBest), a partnership between St. Michael’s Hospital and Ryerson University. Finally, he is also a member of the recently established Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA).

His research interests are broad but tend to focus on novel aspects of lipid metabolism and cellular signaling in a variety of physiological settings. As such, he has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles, covering a variety of topics including innate immunity, cellular dynamics, lipid metabolism and chemical biology. Since beginning his lab at St. Michael’s Hospital in the summer of 2012, he has contributed to the training of over 20 students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting medical residents.

Dr. Fairn serves on several academic and governmental review committees, including graduate student scholarship committees for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, respectively. He also is an editorial board member for the Journal Cellular Microbiology and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for a variety of other biochemical and cell biological publications. Dr. Fairn has received a New Investigator award from CIHR and an Early Researcher Award from the Government of Ontario to support the establishment of his laboratory. He also holds research grants from CIHR, CCNA  and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

For more information on the Fairn lab and for anyone interested in graduate studies please visit his Department of Biochemistry webpage. Publications can be found on PubMed by searching Fairn GD Toronto.


Recent Publications

  1. Fung, KY, Wang, C, Nyegaard, S, Heit, B, Fairn, GD, Lee, WL et al.. SR-BI Mediated Transcytosis of HDL in Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells Is Independent of Caveolin, Clathrin, and PDZK1. Front Physiol. 2017;8 :841. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00841. PubMed PMID:29163190 PubMed Central PMC5670330.
  2. Hirama, T, Lu, SM, Kay, JG, Maekawa, M, Kozlov, MM, Grinstein, S et al.. Membrane curvature induced by proximity of anionic phospholipids can initiate endocytosis. Nat Commun. 2017;8 (1):1393. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01554-9. PubMed PMID:29123120 PubMed Central PMC5680216.
  3. Zhao, L, Thorsheim, CL, Suzuki, A, Stalker, TJ, Min, SH, Lian, L et al.. Phosphatidylinositol transfer protein-α in platelets is inconsequential for thrombosis yet is utilized for tumor metastasis. Nat Commun. 2017;8 (1):1216. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01181-4. PubMed PMID:29084966 PubMed Central PMC5662573.
  4. Fung, KYY, Fairn, GD, Lee, WL. Transcellular vesicular transport in epithelial and endothelial cells: Challenges and opportunities. Traffic. 2017; :. doi: 10.1111/tra.12533. PubMed PMID:28985008 .
  5. Hirama, T, Das, R, Yang, Y, Ferguson, C, Won, A, Yip, CM et al.. Phosphatidylserine dictates the assembly and dynamics of caveolae in the plasma membrane. J. Biol. Chem. 2017;292 (34):14292-14307. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.791400. PubMed PMID:28698382 PubMed Central PMC5572903.
  6. Sun, L, Shi, Y, Wang, G, Wang, X, Zeng, S, Dunn, SE et al.. PPAR-delta modulates membrane cholesterol and cytokine signaling in malignant B cells. Leukemia. 2017; :. doi: 10.1038/leu.2017.162. PubMed PMID:28555083 .
  7. Hua, R, Cheng, D, Coyaud, É, Freeman, S, Di Pietro, E, Wang, Y et al.. VAPs and ACBD5 tether peroxisomes to the ER for peroxisome maintenance and lipid homeostasis. J. Cell Biol. 2017;216 (2):367-377. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201608128. PubMed PMID:28108526 PubMed Central PMC5294787.
  8. Bone, LN, Dayam, RM, Lee, M, Kono, N, Fairn, GD, Arai, H et al.. The acyltransferase LYCAT controls specific phosphoinositides and related membrane traffic. Mol. Biol. Cell. 2017;28 (1):161-172. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E16-09-0668. PubMed PMID:28035047 PubMed Central PMC5221620.
  9. Levin, R, Hammond, GR, Balla, T, De Camilli, P, Fairn, GD, Grinstein, S et al.. Multiphasic dynamics of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate during phagocytosis. Mol. Biol. Cell. 2017;28 (1):128-140. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E16-06-0451. PubMed PMID:28035045 PubMed Central PMC5221617.
  10. Lu, SM, Grinstein, S, Fairn, GD. Quantitative Live-Cell Fluorescence Microscopy During Phagocytosis. Methods Mol. Biol. 2017;1519 :79-91. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-6581-6_6. PubMed PMID:27815874 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto