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SRI Profiles

Robert Screaton

Senior scientist

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 Bayview Ave., Room M7 617
Toronto, ON
M4N 3M5

Phone: 416-480-6100, ext. 5743
Fax: 416-480-6123

Administrative Assistant: Charmi Shah
Phone: 416-480-6100, ext. 3914


  • Hon. B.Sc., 1991, biochemistry, McGill University, Canada
  • PhD, 1998, biochemistry, McGill University

Appointments and Affiliations:

Research Foci:

  • Pancreatic beta cell biology
  • Mitochondrial biology
  • High-throughput functional genomic screening
  • Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

Research Summary:

The focus of Dr. Screaton’s research is on understanding how human cells respond to extracellular cues to ensure their function and survival. One central focus is to study how the pancreatic beta cell converts feeding cues into signals leading to insulin production and secretion.

We use high-throughput functional screens to identify novel players involved in different cell signalling pathways, including human pancreatic beta cell proliferation and those involved in the maintenance of mitochondria, critical subcellular organelles essential for cell function and survival. In addition to Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, our work has an impact on cancer and neurodegeneration.

Selected Publications:

See current publications list at PubMed.

  1. Sakamaki J, Fu A, Reeks C, Baird S, Depatie C, Al Azzabi M, Bardeesy N, Yee S-P, Screaton RA. Role of the SIK2-p35-PJA2 complex in pancreatic beta cell functional compensation. Nat Cell Biol. 2014 Mar;16(3):234–44.
  2. Norton M, Ng AC-H, Baird S, Dumoulin A, Shutt T, Mah N, Andrade-Navarro M, McBride HM, Screaton RA. ROMO1 is an essential redox-dependent regulator of mitochondrial dynamics. Sci Signal. 2014 Jan 28;7(310):ra10.
  3. Ng AC-H, Baird S, Screaton RA. Essential role of TID1 in maintaining mitochondrial membrane potential homogeneity and mitochondrial DNA integrity. Mol Cel Biol. 2014 Apr;34(8):1427–37.
  4. Lefebvre V, Du Q, Baird S, Ng AC-H, Nascimento M, Campanella M, McBride HM, Screaton RA. Genome-wide RNAi screen identifies ATPase inhibitory factor 1 (ATPIF1) as essential for PARK2 recruitment and mitophagy. Autophagy. 2013 Nov 1;9(11):1770–9.
  5. Fu A, Ng AC-H, Depatie C, Wijesekara N, He Y, Wang G-S, Bardeesy N, Scott FW, Touyz RM, Wheeler MB, Screaton RA. Loss of Lkb1 in adult beta cells increases beta cell mass and enhances glucose tolerance in mice. Cell Metab. 2009 Oct;10(4):285–95.

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