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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:
REACH Profile: Spencer Freeman's REACH profile
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 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. 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
  2. Transmembrane pickets connect cyto- and pericellular skeletons forming barriers to receptor engagement. Cell, 172;1-2, 305-317. 2018 Spencer A Freeman, Anthony Vega, Magdalena Riedl, Richard F Collins, Phillip P Ostrowski, Elliot C Woods, Carolyn R Bertozzi, Markku I Tammi, Diane S Lidke, Pauline Johnson, Satyajit Mayor, Khuloud Jaqaman, Sergio Grinstein
  3. Macropinocytosis. Cell, 169; 4, 766-767, 2017. Pedro E Marques, Sergio Grinstein, Spencer A Freeman.
  4. Integrins form an expanding diffusional barrier that coordinates phagocytosis. Cell, 164;1-2, 128-140. 2016. Spencer A Freeman, Jesse Goyette, Wendy Furuya, Elliot C Woods, Carolyn R Bertozzi, Wolfgang Bergmeier, Boris Hinz, P Anton Van Der Merwe, Raibatak Das, Sergio Grinstein
  5. Picket-fences in the plasma membrane: functions in immune cells and phagocytosis Sivakami M Mylvaganam, Sergio Grinstein, Spencer A Freeman. Seminars in immunopathology 2018 40;6,605-615.

See a full list of Spencer Freeman's publications

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