Eleanor N Fish

Eleanor N Fish, PhD

  • Cytokines: interferons and chemokines
    My research group studies the interactions of cytokines and chemokines with their receptors in normal and diseased cells and tissues. Through an understanding of how these biological response modifiers influence the innate and adaptive immune responses and directly exert their influence on non-immune target cells, we will be better positioned to develop therapeutic intervention strategies for a variety of clinical indications.

    Our studies include identification of signal transduction pathways downstream of the interferon-alpha/beta receptor and the chemokine receptor, CCR5. We have extensively mapped signaling cascades that lead to both transcriptional and translational regulation, and assigned biological responses to specific cytokine- or chemokine- inducible signaling events, eg, antiviral responses, growth inhibitory activities, chemotactic responses and proliferative responses.

    We use immortalized human cell lines, gene deficient mice and patient specimens acquired from different human disease cohorts, for our in vitro and in vivo studies.
  • Broad spectrum antivirals
    A major focus in the lab is the study of virus-host interactions in the context of developing broad spectrum antivirals. Through an examination of protein-protein interactions between ligands and receptors and between signaling effectors and viral intermediates, we are able to translate this information into antiviral drug development. During the 2003 outbreak of SARS in Toronto, we initiated studies to investigate the therapeutic potential of interferon in SARS patients. Encouraging results have directed our group’s efforts toward examining interferon activity against a number of emerging infectious diseases, such as avian H5N1 and pandemic H1N1 influenza viruses. Most recently, ourstudies have focused on investigating the therapeutic effectiveness of interferon treatment for Ebola virus disease, with a clinical trial in Guinea. Dr. Fish is a member of a WHO Working Group to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of different vaccine and antiviral interventions against Ebola virus.
  • Autoimmune diseases
    Another focus of the group relates to understanding the immune mechanisms that drive autoimmunity, related to rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
  • Cancer metabolism
    Our group has extended our chemokine studies to interrogate the contributions of CCL5-CCR5 interactions to breast cancer progression, in the context of examining how CCL5 regulation of glycolysis and anabolic metabolism influence tumour proliferation and metastasis.
Lancet. 2016 Mar 12;387(10023):1054-5
Fish EN, Flanagan KL, Furman D, Klein SL, Kollmann TR, Jeppesen DL, Levy O, Marchant A, Namachivayam S, Netea MG, Plebanski M, Rowland-Jones SL, Selin LK, Shann F, Whittle HC
J Autoimmun. 2016 Mar 3;
Galligan CL, Keystone EC, Fish EN
PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Jan;10(1):e0004364
McCarthy SD, Majchrzak-Kita B, Racine T, Kozlowski HN, Baker DP, Hoenen T, Kobinger GP, Fish EN, Branch DR
J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2015 Dec 24;
Wei L, Bello AM, Majchrzak-Kita B, Salum N, Lewis MM, Kotra LP, Fish EN
J Biol Chem. 2015 Dec 8;
Kroczynska B, Rafidi RL, Majchrzak-Kita B, Kosciuczuk EM, Blyth GT, Jemielity J, Warminska Z, Saleiro D, Mehrotra S, Arslan AD, Fish EN, Platanias LC
Cell Rep. 2015 Apr 13;
Saleiro D, Mehrotra S, Kroczynska B, Beauchamp EM, Lisowski P, Majchrzak-Kita B, Bhagat TD, Stein BL, McMahon B, Altman JK, Kosciuczuk EM, Baker DP, Jie C, Jafari N, Thompson CB, Levine RL, Fish EN, Verma AK, Platanias LC
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Jan;109(1):9-15
Klein SL, Marriott I, Fish EN
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Aug 5;111(31):11377-82
Kroczynska B, Mehrotra S, Majchrzak-Kita B, Arslan AD, Altman JK, Stein BL, McMahon B, Kozlowski P, Kahle PJ, Eklund EA, Fish EN, Platanias LC


Director, Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre
Professor, Department of Immunology, University of Toronto
Associate Chair, International Initiatives & Collaborations, Department of Immunology, University of Toronto
Canada Research Chair in Women's Health & Immunobiology