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 Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in both the Department of Surgery and the Department of Biochemistry. He is also a Member of the Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto, iBEST and Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Ryerson University.

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 ~60 peer-reviewed articles, covering a variety of topics including cancer biology, innate immunity and inflammation as well as fundamental studies on cell dynamics, organelle biology, 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 30 students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting medical residents.

Dr. Fairn serves on several academic and governmental review committees, including project grant and graduate student scholarship committees for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Alberta Innovates Health Solutions. He also is an editorial board member for the journals Cellular MicrobiologyScientific Reports, and Traffic. 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, the JP Bickell Foundation 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 or Fairn G.





Recent Publications

  1. Lu, Y, Zheng, Y, Coyaud, É, Zhang, C, Selvabaskaran, A, Yu, Y et al.. Palmitoylation of NOD1 and NOD2 is required for bacterial sensing. Science. 2019;366 (6464):460-467. doi: 10.1126/science.aau6391. PubMed PMID:31649195 .
  2. Yang, Y, Park, M, Maekawa, M, Fairn, GD. Enforced expression of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase homolog alters PtdIns(4,5)P2 distribution and the localization of small G-proteins. Sci Rep. 2019;9 (1):14789. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-51272-z. PubMed PMID:31616009 PubMed Central PMC6794296.
  3. Kay, JG, Fairn, GD. Distribution, dynamics and functional roles of phosphatidylserine within the cell. Cell Commun. Signal. 2019;17 (1):126. doi: 10.1186/s12964-019-0438-z. PubMed PMID:31615534 PubMed Central PMC6792266.
  4. Levin-Konigsberg, R, Montaño-Rendón, F, Keren-Kaplan, T, Li, R, Ego, B, Mylvaganam, S et al.. Phagolysosome resolution requires contacts with the endoplasmic reticulum and phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate signalling. Nat. Cell Biol. 2019;21 (10):1234-1247. doi: 10.1038/s41556-019-0394-2. PubMed PMID:31570833 .
  5. Sugiyama, MG, Fairn, GD, Antonescu, CN. Akt-ing Up Just About Everywhere: Compartment-Specific Akt Activation and Function in Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Signaling. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2019;7 :70. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2019.00070. PubMed PMID:31131274 PubMed Central PMC6509475.
  6. Westman, J, Hube, B, Fairn, GD. Integrity under stress: Host membrane remodelling and damage by fungal pathogens. Cell. Microbiol. 2019;21 (4):e13016. doi: 10.1111/cmi.13016. PubMed PMID:30740852 .
  7. 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 .
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

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