Professor  |  Research Co-Vice Chair

Stephen Girardin

Department of Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology


UofT campus: Medical Sciences Building (MSB)
1 Kings College Circle, Rm6304, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5S 1A8
Research Interests
Infectious Diseases & Immunopathology, Molecular & Cell Biology
Appointment Status
Accepting PhD students

After undergraduate studies at Ecole Normale Superieure d'Ulm/Paris VI University, Dr. Stephen Girardin studied JNK signal transduction pathways in the laboratory of Moshe Yaniv, at the Pasteur Institute (Paris, France) and obtained his PhD in 2001. Stephen next joined the laboratory of Philippe Sansonetti, also at the Pasteur Institute, to study the host responses to intracellular bacterial pathogens. His worked contributed to the characterization of the role of Nod-like receptors (NLRs) in innate immunity.

He obtained a faculty position at the Pasteur Institute in 2005 and was awarded an Inserm Avenir Junior Group Leader position in the same year. Stephen joined the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology of the University of Toronto in 2006 and is now Professor within the LMP Department. Stephen is a recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) Award, Ontario Early Researcher Award, CIHR Young Investigator Award and former Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Innate Immunity and Microbial Pathogenesis.

Stephen is currently the scientific director of the Microscopy Imaging Laboratory (MIL), the microscopy core facility of the Faculty of Medicine.  He is also Vice-Chair, Research, for the LMP Department.  Stephen is the Coordinator of LMP436H1 Microbial Pathogenesis 36L (detailed syllabus is available by clicking here) and co-coordinator of the LMP1001 course.

Research Synopsis

The Girardin lab studies the host innate immune responses to pathogenic microbes, using cellular and in vivo models of infection. A major focus of the lab is the intestinal epithelium, which serves as a fundamental interface between, on the one hand, enteric pathogens and the microbiota and, on the other hand, our immune defenses. Together, the ultimate goal of the team is to understand what drives intestinal inflammation, which can cause chronic diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and colorectal cancer.

Selected Publications

Killackey SA, Bi Y, Soares F, Hammi I, Winsor NJ, Abdul-Sater AA, Philpott DJ, Arnoult D, Girardin SE. Mitochondrial protein import stress regulates the LC3 lipidation step of mitophagy through NLRX1 and RRBP1. Mol Cell. 2022 Jun 16:S1097-2765(22)00540-8. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2022.06.004. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35752171.

M Abdel-Nour, LAM Carneiro, J Downey, J Tsalikis, A Outlioua, D Prescott, L Silva Da Costa, ES Hovingh, A Farahvash, RG Gaudet, R Molinaro, R van Dalen, CCY Lau, FC Azimi, NK Escalante, A Trotman-Grant, JE Lee,  SD Gray-Owen, M Divangahi, J-J Chen, DJ Philpott, D Arnoult and SE Girardin (2019) The Heme-Regulated Inhibitor is a cytosolic sensor of protein misfolding that controls innate immune signaling Science 365(6448)

SJ Robertson, P Lemire, H Maughan, A Goethel, W Turpin, L Bedrani, K Croitoru, SE Girardin* and DJ Philpott* (2019) Comparison of co-housing and littermate methods for microbiota standardization in mouse models Cell Reports 27(6):1910-1919 (* contributed equally)

R Molinaro, T Mukherjee, R Flick, DJ Philpott and SE Girardin (2019) Trace levels of peptidoglycan in serum underlie the NOD-dependent cytokine response to endoplasmic reticulum stress J Biol Chem 294(22):9007-9015

MT Sorbara, EG Foerster, J Tsalikis, M Abdel-Nour, J Mangiapane, I Sirluck-Schroeder, I Tattoli, R van Dalen, DE Isenman, JR Rohde, SE Girardin* and DJ Philpott* (2018) Complement C3 drives autophagy-dependent restriction of cyto-invasive bacteria Cell Host Microbe 23(5):644-52 (*co-senior authors)

P Lemire, SJ Robertson, H Maughan, I Tattoli, CJ Streutker, JM Platnich, DA Muruve, DJ Philpott and SE Girardin (2017) The NLR protein NLRP6 does not impact gut microbiota composition Cell Reports 21(13):3653-3661

I Tattoli, SA Killackey, EG Foerster, R Molinaro, C Maisonneuve, MA Rahman, S Winer, DA Winer, CJ Streutker, DJ Philpott and SE Girardin (2016) NLRX1 acts as an epithelial-intrinsic tumour suppressor through the modulation of TNF-mediated proliferation Cell Reports 14(11):2576-86

J Tsalikis, I Tattoli, A Ling, MT Sorbara, DO Croitoru, DJ Philpott and SE Girardin (2015) Intracellular bacterial pathogens trigger the formation of U bodies through metabolic stress induction J Biol Chem 290(34):20904-18

MT Sorbara, LK Ellison, M Ramjeet, LH Travassos, NL Jones, SE Girardin* and DJ Philpott* (2013) The protein ATG16L1 suppresses inflammatory cytokines induced by the intracellular sensors Nod1 and Nod2 in an autophagy-independent manner Immunity 39(5):858-73 (*co-senior authors)

I Tattoli, MT Sorbara, C Yang, SA Tooze, DJ Philpott and SE Girardin (2013) Listeria phospholipases subvert host autophagic defenses by stalling pre-autophagosomal structures EMBO J 32(23):3066-78

I Tattoli, M Sorbara, D Vuckovic, A Ling, F Soares, LAM Carneiro, C Yang, A Emili, DJ Philpott and SE Girardin (2012) Amino acid starvation induced by invasive bacterial pathogens triggers an innate host defense program Cell Host Microbe 11(6):563-75

Honours and Awards

Canada Research Chair (Tier 1), 2021