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Robert Screaton

Senior scientist

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

Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 65743
Fax: 416-480-6123

Administrative Assistant: Charmi Shah
Phone: 416-480-6100 ext. 63914


  • 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
  • Cell Regeneration

Research Summary:

The focus of Dr. Screaton’s research is to understand how human cells respond to extracellular cues to ensure their function and survival. One central focus is to identify which genes prevent the human pancreatic beta cell from replicating early in life, to develop small molecules to promote beta cell regeneration for the treatment of insulin insufficiency. To do this, we use high-throughput functional screens to identify novel players involved in cell signalling pathways, from cell proliferation to mitochondrial function and dynamics. 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. Iorio C, Rourke JL, Wells, L, Sakamaki J, Moon E, Hu Q, Kin T, Screaton RA. Silencing the G-Protein Coupled Receptor 3-Salt Inducible Kinase 2 Pathway Promotes Human β Cell Proliferation. Communications Biology. 2021 doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02433-2.
  2. Robitaille K, Rourke JL, McBane JE, Fu A, Baird SD, Du Q, Kin T, Shapiro AMJ, and Screaton, RA. High-throughput functional genomic screen identifies regulators of primary human cell proliferation. JBC 2016 291: 4614-25.
  3. 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. Nature Cell Biol. 2014 Mar;16(3):234–44.
  4. 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. Science Signaling. 2014 Jan 28;7(310):ra10.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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