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Spencer Freeman

Title: Scientist, Cell Biology
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext.309267
Alternate Contact Name: Josephine Lau
Alternate Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 309005
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry
Chair Positions: Canada Research Chair in Immune Surveillance - Tier 2


The Freeman Lab is working to understand cellular and mechanisms underlying immune surveillance.  The immune system protects us from infection, orchestrates wound healing, and eliminates cancer.  Such versatility necessitates detectors that distinguish harmful from healthy components as well as the ongoing sampling/turnover of tissues (i.e. surveillance).

In disease, immune surveillance is evaded by pathogens and tumor cells such that its protective role is lost.  By using state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary approaches, the Freeman Lab is uncovering mechanisms of immune surveillance from single molecules to cells to populations.  


  1. An acquired and endogenous glycocalyx forms a bidirectional “don't eat” and “don't eat me” barrier to phagocytosis.  Current Biology 31 (1), 77-89. e5, 2020. Paul RC Imbert, Amra Saric, Kayvon Pedram, Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Sergio Grinstein, Spencer A. Freeman
  2. Enveloped virus entry.  Cell 182 (3), 786-786. e1, 2020. Jason Mercer, Jeffrey E. Lee, Erica Ollmann Saphire, Spencer A. Freeman.
  3. Stabilization of endothelial receptor arrays by a polarized spectrin cytoskeleton facilitates rolling and adhesion of leukocytes.  Cell Reports 31 (12), 107798, 2020. Sivakami M. Mylvaganam, Magdalena Riedl, Athony Vega, Richard F. Collins, Khuloud Jaqaman, Sergio Grinstein, Spencer A. Freeman
  4. Lipid-gated monovalent ion fluxes regulate endocytic traffic and support immune surveillance. Science, 367;6475, 301-305, 2020.  Spencer A. Freeman, Stefan Uderhardt, Amra Saric, Richard F Collins, Catherine M Buckley, Sivakami Mylvaganam, Parastoo Boroumand, Jonathan Plumb, Ronald N Germain, Dejian Ren, Sergio Grinstein
  5. Solutes as controllers of endomembrane dynamics.  Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 22 (4), 237-238.  Amra Saric and Spencer A. Freeman.

See a full list of Spencer Freeman's publications

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