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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 subcellular (organellar) mechanisms underlying immune surveillance and immune responses including inflammation. The innate immune system protects from infection, orchestrates wound healing, and eliminates cancer. The system is also responsible for the ongoing turnover of cells and matrices and features in the metabolic homeostasis of tissues. Such versatility necessitates mechanisms that enable these cells to 1) compartmentalize their roles and 2) adapt their numbers and states upon sensing harmful components or pathogens. In disease, immune surveillance (i.e. the ability to detect and respond to threats) is evaded by many pathogens and tumor cells such that its protective role is lost. Further, genetic variants that cause organelle dysfunction in immune cells lead to both direct and indirect systemic effects. By taking a systems approach to understanding the metabolism, genetics, cell biology, and physiology of innate immunity, the Freeman Lab is uncovering fundamental mechanisms that contribute to a wide segment of diseases with underlying immune drivers.


  1. Two-pore channels regulate endomembrane tension to enable remodeling and resolution of phagolysosomes Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 121 (8):e2309465121, 2024. Sarah R Chadwick, Dante Barreda, Jing Ze Wu, Gang Ye, Bushra Yusuf, Dejian Ren, Spencer A. Freeman.
  2. Redistribution of the glycocalyx exposes phagocytic determinants on apoptotic cells  Developmental Cell 59(7): 853-868.e7, 2024. Trieu Le , Iuliia Ferling, Lanhui Qiu, Clement Nabail, Leonardo Assunção, Calvin D. Roskelley, Sergio Grinstein, Spencer A Freeman.
  3. Lipid peroxidation increases membrane tension, Piezo1 gating, and cation permeability to execute ferroptosis  Current Biology 33(7):1282-1294.e5, 2023. Yusuke Hirata, Ruiqi Cai, Allen Volchuk, Benjamin E. Steinberg, Yoshiro Saito, Atsushi Matsuzawa, Sergio Grinstein, Spencer A. Freeman.
  4. The resolution of phagosomesImmunological Reviews, 319(1):45-64, 2023.  Sivakami Mylvaganam, Spencer A. Freeman.
  5. ClC-7 drives intraphagosomal chloride accumulation to support hydrolase activity and phagosome resolution Journal of Cell Biology 222(6):e202208155. Jing Ze Wu , Mariia Zeziulia, Whijin Kwon, Thomas J. Jentsch, Sergio Grinstein, Spencer A. Freeman.

See a full list of Spencer Freeman's publications

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