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Phil Sherman

Title: Senior Scientist Emeritus, Cell Biology
Designations: MD, FRCPC
Phone: 416-813-7733
Alternate Contact Name: Katherne Johnson-Henry
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Professor-Emeritus of Paediatrics, Medical Science, and Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto
Chair Positions: Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Gastrointestinal Disease


Philip Sherman is paediatric gastroenterologist at The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, where he has been on faculty since 1984. Sherman is a Past-President of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and Past-President of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology.  
He is the recipient of a Canada Research Chair (tier 1) in Gastrointestinal Disease (2001-22). Sherman was Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (2009-2017). His research interest focuses on epithelial cell signaling responses in settings of intestinal injury and inflammation.  


The Sherman laboratory currently studies the mechanisms by which probiotics, prebiotics, and human milk oligosaccharides reduce intestinal injury and promote gut repair. For these studies, the laboratory employs reductionist models of polarized epithelia, animal models of colitis, and partners with others for clinical trials in human subjects. 

Education and experience

  • 1974–1977: Medical School, U. Calgary, Calgary, AB
  • 1977–1980: Paediatric Internship and Residency, UCSF (under Melvin Grumbach), San Francisco, CA
  • 1980–1982: Medical Research Council of Canada Research Fellow, The Hospital for Sick Children (under Gordon G. Forstner), Toronto, ON
  • 1982–1983: GI Clinical Fellow (under J. Richard Hamilton)
  • 1983–1984: Duncan Gordon Research Fellow at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (under Edgar C. Boedeker)
  • 2003–2004: Alberta Heritage Foundation Visiting Scholar (under John L. Wallace) 


  • 2020: Fellow of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition
  • 2018: Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Distinguished Service Award
  • 2009–2017: Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes
  • 2014: University of Toronto, Department Paediatrics Physician Research Award for Career Excellence
  • 2010: NASPGHAN Harry Shwachman Lifetime Achievement Award 


  1. Maattanen, E. Lurz, S. Botts, R. Wu, S. Robinson, C. Yeung, R. Colas, B. Li, K. Johnson-Henry, M. Surette, J. Dalli, P. Sherman. Plant- and fish-derived N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids suppress Citrobacter rodentium-induced colonic inflammation. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2020, e1900873. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201900873.
  2. Wu, B. Li, Y. Koike, P. Maattanen, H. Miyake, M. Cadete, K. Johnson-Henry, S. Botts, C. Lee, T. Abrahamsson, E. Landberg, A. Pierro, P. Sherman. Human milk oligosaccharides increase mucin expression in experimental necrotizing enterocolitis. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2019, 63:1800658. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201800658.
  3. Freedman, S. Williamson-Urquhart, K. Farion, S. Gouin, A. Wilan, N. Poonai, K. Hurley, P. Sherman, Y. Finkelstein, B. Lee, X-L Pang, L. Chui, D. Schnadower, J. Xie, M. Gorelick, S. Schuh. Multicenter trial of combination probiotics for children with gastroenteritis. New England Journal of Medicine, 2018, 379:2015-2026. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1802597.
  4. Maattanen, E. Lurz, S. Botts, R. Wu, W. Yeung, B. Li, S. Abiff, K. Johnson-Henry, D. Lepp, K. Power, A. Pierro, M. Surette, P. Sherman. Ground flaxseed reverses protection of a reduced fat diet against Citrobacter rodentium-induced colitis. American Journal of Physiology, 2018, 315:G788-G798. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00101.2018.
  5. Wu, P. Maattanen, S. Napper, E. Scruten, B. Li, Y. Koike, K. Johnson-Henry, A. Pierro, L. Rossi, S. Botts, M. Surette, P. Sherman. Non-digestible oligosaccharides directly regulate host kinome to modulate host inflammatory responses without alterations in the gut microbiota. Microbiome, 2017, 5:135(15 pages),. doi: 10.1186/s40168-017-0357-4.

See all of Phil Sherman's publications on Google Scholar.

  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research 
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 
  • Lallemand Health Solutions 
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