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John Brumell

Title: Co-Director, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre
Designations: PhD
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 303555
Alternate Contact Name: Alison Cayetano
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 Ext. 308202
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Institute of Medical Science
Chair Positions: Pitblado Chair in Cell Biology

Research Positions

Program Head
Cell Biology


Dr. Brumell completed undergraduate studies at the University of Western Ontario with a Major in Biochemistry. He completed his PhD at the University of Toronto in 1997. His doctoral research focused on phosphoryation-dependent signaling mechanisms in human leukocytes that encounter bacteria. He extended these studies from 1997-1998 at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto. His postdoctoral studies at the University of British Columbia from 1998-2002 examined how Salmonella subverts host cells to cause infection.

In 2002, Brumell returned to Toronto where he established a laboratory at SickKids Research Institute. He is now a Senior Scientist in the Cell Biology program and a Co-Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre. In 2014, Dr. Brumell was awarded the Pitblado Chair in Cell Biology.


Dr. Brumell’s research examines the host-pathogen interface and employs genetic and cell biological approaches to understand these infections and their outcomes. This research focuses primarily on Salmonella and Listeria, which are common pathogens and powerful model organisms for the study of infection. In addition to this basic research, Dr. Brumell’s lab also examines how host-pathogen interactions can impact the development of chronic diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Arthritis.


  • 1993–1997: PhD, University of Toronto and Division of Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. Supervisor: Dr. Sergio Grinstein
  • 1987–1992: B.Sc., University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada, Major: Biochemistry
  • 1998–2002: Postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Brett Finlay, Biotechnology Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 1997–1998: Postdoctoral fellowship With Dr. Mike Tyers Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON Canada


  • 2009–Present: Senior Scientist, Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 2018–Present: Head of Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 2002–2009: Scientist, Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 2012–Present: Professor, University of Toronto, Department of Molecular Genetics (Primary appointment)
  • 2007–Present: (Cross-appointment) Member, University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Science
  • 2007–2012: Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Department of Molecular Genetics (Primary appointment)
  • 2002–2007: Assistant Professor University of Toronto, Department of Molecular Genetics (Primary appointment)


  1. D’Costa, V., Coyaud, E. Boddy, K.C., Laurent, E.M.N., St. Germain, J., Li, T., Grinstein, S., Raught, B. and Brumell, J.H. (2019). BioID screen of Salmonella type 3 secreted effectors reveals host factors involved in vacuole positioning and stability during infection. Nature Microbiology. 4(12): 2511-2522.
  2. Tan, J., Mellouk, N., Osborne, S.E., Canadien, V., Brunen, D., van Rijn, J., Czuczman, M.A., Cemma, M., Fattouh, R., Lam, G.Y., Huang, J., Muise, A.M., Kim, P.K., MacDuff, D., Virgin, H.W., Reggiori, F., Higgins, D.E. and Brumell, J.H. (2018). An ATG16L1-dependent pathway promotes plasma membrane repair and limits pathogen spread. Nature Microbiology. 3(12): 1472-1485.
  3. Truong, D., Kuksis, K., Canadien, V., Brabant, D., Fairn, G., Perez-Sala, D., Heo, W-D., Sun, W., Grinstein, S. and Brumell, J.H. (2018). Salmonella exploits host Rho GTPase signaling pathways through the phosphatase activity of SopB. Cellular Microbiology. 20(10): e12938.
  4. Boddy, K.C., Gao, A.D., Truong, D., Kim, M.S., Froese, C.D., Trimble, W.S., and Brumell, J.H. (2018). Septin-regulated actin dynamics promote Salmonella invasion of host cells. Cellular Microbiology.
  5. Osborne, S.E., Sit, B., Shaker, A., Currie, E., Tan, J.M.J., van Rijn, J., Higgins, D.E. and Brumell, J.H. (2017). Type 1 Interferon promotes cell-to-cell spread of Listeria monocytogenes. Cellular Microbiology. 19(3).

See a full list of John Brumell's publications


  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation
  • Ontario Innovation Trust
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
  • The Arthritis Society of Canada
  • National Institutes of Health
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