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Cell Biology

686 Bay St, Toronto, ON M5G 0A4
Sheryl Mann, Research Program Manager

The Cell Biologyresearch program at the SickKids Research Institute aims to understand how cells function at the molecular level, and how these functions go awry in disease states. Cutting-edge methods in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and microscopy are combined with proteomics, combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput robotics to examine cell physiology, inter and intracellular signaling, cell structure, and organelle function, on both a cellular and molecular level. 

Cell biology research themes

This research involves the study of how cells are affected by contact from outside their world. We study interactions between cells in the context of a tissue, and the ways that microbial pathogens manipulate cells to establish an advantageous growth niche. 

We examine immune cells of both innate and adaptive immune systems. Studies focus on how immune cells function normally to battle infection, and how on rare occasion these cells can turn against their host. 

We explore membrane traffic, organelle function and organelle turnover within the cell, and how defects in these processes can lead to diseases such as diabetes. 

Cells continually receive stimuli from external sources and must process this information to decide whether to replicate, migrate, secrete hormones, etc. We're investigating how this signaling occurs, how it is controlled, and what happens if it fails to function. 

Cell proliferation is balanced by cell death, and failure to maintain this balance can lead to uncontrolled proliferation in the form of cancer, or loss of cells in the cases of ischemia or bone marrow failures. We're aiming to understand the mechanisms that control a cell’s decision to proliferate or die, and determine how this balance goes awry in disease states.  

Core facilities & Centres

Our team members work across a number of SickKids core facilities and centres to conduct their research. They contribute to studies involving inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), brain tumours, cancer, childhood arthritis and rheumatic disease, cystic fibrosis, and several other paediatric conditions.

SickKids Imaging Facility

The Imaging Facility provides a full range of biological imaging solutions for life sciences research. The facility contains a wide array of the latest technologies in biological imaging, which are available to all researchers on a user-cost basis.

SickKids Proteomics Analytics Robotics & Chemical Biology Centre (SPARC BioCentre)

The SickKids SPARC Biocentre provides two in-demand services for cell biology researchers at SickKids and around the world - drug discovery and molecular analysis.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Centre

The IBD Centre brings together the strengths of SickKids’ IBD Program and Research Institute to build our understanding of the development of paediatric IBD, leading to better clinical care for individual patients.

The Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre

The Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre (BTRC) is the largest comprehensive brain tumour research program in Canada, and a global leader in paediatric brain tumour research and therapy.

World-class facilities for your research

Work in state-of-the-art facilities and leverage the latest technology, overseen by our highly qualified scientific director(s) from the Research Institute, for your next research study.

Visit Core Facilities

Research team

The Cell Biology program consists of senior scientists, scientists, scientist-track investigators, and associate scientist-track investigators. We employ over 250 graduate students, research fellows, research associates, technicians and administrative staff.  Currently, cell biology investigators hold three Endowed Chairs at SickKids, one Endowed Chair at the University of Toronto, and five Canada Research Chairs (four Tier 1, and one Tier 2).

Expand the section below for a list of scientific staff in the Cell Biology program.

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The Research Institute

The Research Institute

Over 2,000 researchers and staff collaborate at SickKids’ Research Institute (RI) to tackle the toughest challenges in child’s health.

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