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. Tan, JMJ, Mellouk, N, Osborne, SE, Ammendolia, DA, Dyer, DN, Li, R et al.. An ATG16L1-dependent pathway promotes plasma membrane repair and limits Listeria monocytogenes cell-to-cell spread. Nat Microbiol. 2018;3 (12):1472-1485. doi: 10.1038/s41564-018-0293-5. PubMed PMID:30478389 .
  2. Courtney, KC, Fung, KY, Maxfield, FR, Fairn, GD, Zha, X. Comment on 'Orthogonal lipid sensors identify transbilayer asymmetry of plasma membrane cholesterol'. Elife. 2018;7 :. doi: 10.7554/eLife.38493. PubMed PMID:30422112 PubMed Central PMC6257810.
  3. Hirama, T, Fairn, GD. Induction of spontaneous curvature and endocytosis: Unwanted consequences of cholesterol extraction using methyl-β-Cyclodextrin. Commun Integr Biol. 2018;11 (2):1-4. doi: 10.1080/19420889.2018.1444306. PubMed PMID:30083284 PubMed Central PMC6067860.
  4. Truong, D, Boddy, KC, Canadien, V, Brabant, D, Fairn, GD, D'Costa, VM et al.. Salmonella exploits host Rho GTPase signalling pathways through the phosphatase activity of SopB. Cell. Microbiol. 2018;20 (10):e12938. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12938. PubMed PMID:30010242 .
  5. Lu, SM, Fairn, GD. 7-Ketocholesterol impairs phagocytosis and efferocytosis via dysregulation of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. Traffic. 2018;19 (8):591-604. doi: 10.1111/tra.12576. PubMed PMID:29693767 .
  6. Yang, Y, Lee, M, Fairn, GD. Phospholipid subcellular localization and dynamics. J. Biol. Chem. 2018;293 (17):6230-6240. doi: 10.1074/jbc.R117.000582. PubMed PMID:29588369 PubMed Central PMC5925819.
  7. Sohn, M, Korzeniowski, M, Zewe, JP, Wills, RC, Hammond, GRV, Humpolickova, J et al.. PI(4,5)P2 controls plasma membrane PI4P and PS levels via ORP5/8 recruitment to ER-PM contact sites. J. Cell Biol. 2018;217 (5):1797-1813. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201710095. PubMed PMID:29472386 PubMed Central PMC5940310.
  8. Lu, SM, Fairn, GD. Mesoscale organization of domains in the plasma membrane - beyond the lipid raft. Crit. Rev. Biochem. Mol. Biol. 2018;53 (2):192-207. doi: 10.1080/10409238.2018.1436515. PubMed PMID:29457544 .
  9. Lee, M, Fairn, GD. Both the PH domain and N-terminal region of oxysterol-binding protein related protein 8S are required for localization to PM-ER contact sites. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2018;496 (4):1088-1094. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.01.138. PubMed PMID:29409900 .
  10. Filewod, NC, Batt, J, Kapus, A, Szaszi, K, Fairn, GD, Slutsky, AS et al.. Should basic science matter to clinicians?. Lancet. 2018;391 (10119):410-412. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30199-5. PubMed PMID:29407017 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

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