Sergio Grinstein

Sergio Grinstein


BSc, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas, Mexico, 1972
PhD, Centro de investigacion y Estudios Avanzados, Mexico, 1976

Address 555 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M5G 1X8
Lab Grinstein Lab
Lab Phone 416-813-5729
Office Phone 416-813-5727

Sergio Grinstein completed his Ph.D. in 1976 at the Centro de Investigacion, in Mexico City. He then spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto, followed by a year in the Department of Biochemistry at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He is currently working at the Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto, where he was Head of the Program in Cell Biology from 1987-2007 and has been Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto since 1988.

Dr. Grinstein is interested in membrane biology, ion transport and the innate immune response.

In the News

Research Lab

Immunofluorescence of human primary macrophages stained for F-actin using Alexa Fluor488-phalloidin (green), for DNA using DAPI (light blue) and for CD9 using an mouse anti-human CD9 primary antibody followed by a donkey anti-mouse Cy3-labeled secondary. CD9 is a member of the tetraspanin family.

Sergio’s group studies two different topics. One topic deals with the regulation of ion transport and pH of intracellular compartments and the researchers have devised a means of measuring the pH and ionic composition of individual organelles within intact live cells. The second area of interest relates to the interaction between the innate immune system and invading microorganisms. The Hospital for Sick Children has an impressive Imaging Facility which provides a full range of imaging solutions for life sciences research.

Learn more: Grinstein Lab

Research Description

Membrane Biology, Ion Transport, and the Innate Immune Response

Dr. Grinstein’s group is interested in several aspects of membrane biology and signal transduction.  Part of his group studies ion transport mechanisms and regulation, with particular interest in the regulation of the intracellular pH.  Another sub-group studies the molecular basis of the innate immune response, mostly in macrophages.  The receptors, signals and effectors that mediate phagocytosis are topics of interest, as is the interaction of pathogens with host cells.

Awards & Distinctions

1987 — Ayerst Award of the Canadian Biochemical Society
1991-2002 — International Research Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
2004 — Michael Smith Award, Canadian Institutes for Health Research

Courses Taught

BCH 2127H Advances in Optical Microscopy: From Single Molecules to Four-Dimensional Imaging
BCH 2024H Advances in optical microscopy: from single molecules to four-dimensional imaging.


Membrane phosphatidylserine regulates surface charge and protein localization.
Yeung, T. Gilbert, G., Shi, J., Silvius, J., Kapus, A. and Grinstein, S.
Science 319:210-213

Receptor activation alters inner surface potential during phagocytosis.
Yeung, T., Terebiznik, M., Yu, L., Silvius, J., Abidi, W.M., Philips, M., Levine, T., Kapus, A. and Grinstein, S.
Science 313:347-351.

Phosphatidylserine is polarized and required for proper Cdc42 localization and for development of cell polarity.
Fairn, G.D., Hermansson, M., Somerharju, P. and Grinstein, S.
Nature Cell Biol. 13(12):1424-1430

Multimolecular signaling complexes enable Syk-mediated signaling of CD36 internalization.
Heit, B., Kim, H., Cosío, G., Castaño, D., Lowell, C.A., Kain, K.C. and Grinstein, S.
Dev. Cell. 24(4):372-383

Structure of LIMP-2 provides functional insights with implications for SR-BI and CD36.
Neculai, D., Schwake, M., Ravichandran, M., Zunke, F., Collins, R.F., Peters, J., Neculai, M., Plumb, J., Loppnau, P., Pizarro, J.C., Seitova, A., Trimble, W.S., Saftig, P., Grinstein, S. and Dhe Paganon, S.
Nature 504(7478):172-176

Actin cytoskeleton reorganization by the tyrosine kinase Syk regulates Fcg receptor responsiveness by increasing its lateral mobility and clustering.
Jaumouillé, V., Farkash, Y., Jaqaman, K., Das, R., Lowell, C.A. and Grinstein, S.
Dev. Cell 29(5):534-546