Richard Bazinet

Richard Bazinet PhD
Department of Nutritional Sciences
Contact Info
T: (416) 946-8276
F: (416) 978-5882
Medical Sciences Building, 5th Floor, Room 5358
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, ON, M5S 1A8
Appointment Status Primary
Pending the availability of funding
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brain Physiology and Metabolism Section, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health
PhD, University of Toronto
BSc, University of Western Ontario
Professional Memberships
American Society for Neurochemistry
American Oil Chemists’ Society
Canadian Nutrition Society
International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (president elect)
Research Interests
The regulation and role of brain lipid metabolism in neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders.


Research Synopsis

The overall goal of my research program is to identify the mechanisms that regulate brain lipid metabolism (signaling) and to identify the role of brain lipid metabolism in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders. We are currently taking a kinetic and biochemical approach to studying the mechanisms by which dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids regulate the metabolism of arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids within brain phospholipids. We are also investigating the role of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids in rodent models of neuroinflammation and Alzheimer's disease.                                           

Publications and Awards

View PubMed search of this faculty member's recent publications.

Recent Publications

Last 3 years only

Taha AY, Trepanier MO, Coibanu FA, Saxena A, Jeffrey MA, Taha NMY, Burnham WM, Bazinet RP. Dietary Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Deprivation Does Not Alter Seizure Thresholds but May Prevent the Anti-seizure Effects of Injected Docosahexaenoic Acid in Rats. Front Neurol. 2019 Feb 5;9:1188. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.01188. eCollection 2018.

Bazinet RP, Bernoud-Hubac N, Lagarde M. How the plasma lysophospholipid and unesterified fatty acid pools supply the brain with docosahexaenoic acid. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2019 Mar;142:1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2018.12.003. Epub 2018 Dec 25.

Chouinard-Watkins R, Lacombe RJS, Metherel AH, Masoodi M, Bazinet RP. DHA Esterified to Phosphatidylserine or Phosphatidylcholine is More Efficient at Targeting the Brain than DHA Esterified to Triacylglycerol. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2019 Feb 15:e1801224. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201801224. [Epub ahead of print]

Metherel AH, Irfan M, Chouinard-Watkins R, Trépanier MO, Stark KD, Bazinet RP. DHA Cycling Halves the DHA Supplementation Needed to Maintain Blood and Tissue Concentrations via Higher Synthesis from ALA in Long-Evans Rats. J Nutr. 2019 Feb 2. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy282. [Epub ahead of print]

Metherel AH, Lacombe RJS, Chouinard-Watkins R, Bazinet RP.Docosahexaenoic acid is both a product of and a precursor to tetracosahexaenoic acid in the rat. J Lipid Res. 2019 Feb;60(2):412-420. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M090373. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Hennebelle M, Metherel AH, Kitson AP, Otoki Y, Yang J, Lee KSS, Hammock BD, Bazinet RP, Taha AY. Brain oxylipin concentrations following hypercapnia / ischemia: effects of brain dissection and dissection time. J Lipid Res. 2018 Nov 21. pii: jlr.D084228. doi: 10.1194/jlr.D084228. [Epub ahead of print]

Chouinard-Watkins R, Bazinet RP. ACSL6 is critical for maintaining brain DHA levels. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Dec 4;115(49):12343-12345. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1817557115. Epub 2018 Nov 16. 

Lin L, Metherel AH, Kitson AP, Alashmali SM, Hopperton KE, Trépanier MO, Jones PJ, Bazinet RP. Dietary fatty acids augment tissue levels of n-acylethanolamines in n-acylphosphatidylethanolamine phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD) knockout mice. J Nutr Biochem. [Epub ahead of print]

Giuliano V, Lacombe RJS, Hopperton KE, Bazinet RP. Applying stable carbon isotopic analysis at the natural abundance level to determine the origin of docosahexaenoic acid in the brain of the fat-1 mouse. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell [Epub ahead of print]

Metherel AH, Lacombe RJS, Aristizabal Henao JJ, Morin-Rivron D, Kitson AP, Hopperton KE, Chalil D, Masoodi M, Stark KD, Bazinet RP. Two weeks of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation increases synthesis-secretion kinetics of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to 8 weeks of DHA supplementation. J Nutr Biochem. 2018 Oct;60:24-34

Johnston LW, Liu Z, Retnakaran R, Zinman B, Giacca A, Harris SB, Bazinet RP, Hanley AJ. Clusters of fatty acids in the serum triacylglyceride fraction associate with the disorders of type 2 diabetes. J Lipid Res. 2018 Sep;59(9):1751-1762

Lacombe RJS, Giuliano V, Chouinard-Watkins R, Bazinet RP. Natural Abundance Carbon Isotopic Analysis Indicates the Equal Contribution of Local Synthesis and Plasma Uptake to Palmitate Levels in the Mouse Brain. Lipids. 2018 May;53(5):481-490

Trépanier MO, Hildebrand KD, Nyamoya SD, Amor S, Bazinet RP, Kipp M. Phosphatidylcholine 36:1 concentration decreases along with demyelination in the cuprizone animal model and in post-mortem multiple sclerosis brain tissue. J Neurochem. 2018 Jun;145(6):504-515

Scola G, Versace A, Metherel AH, Monsalve-Castro LA, Phillips ML, Bazinet RP, Andreazza AC. Alterations in peripheral fatty acid composition in bipolar and unipolar depression. J Affect Disord. 2018 Jan 6

Lacombe RJS, Chouinard-Watkins R, Bazinet RP. Brain docosahexaenoic acid uptake and metabolism. Mol Aspects Med. 2018 Feb 8

Johnston LW, Harris SB, Retnakaran R, Giacca A, Liu Z, Bazinet RP, Hanley AJ. Association of NEFA composition with insulin sensitivity and beta cell function in the Prospective Metabolism and Islet Cell Evaluation (PROMISE) cohort. Diabetologia. 2017 Dec 24.

Hopperton KE, Mohammad D, Trepanier MO, Giuliano V, Bazinet RP. Markers of microglia in post-mortem brain samples from patients with Alzheimer’s Disease: a systematic review. Mol Psychiatry. 2018 Feb;23(2):177-198

120. Metherel AH, Lacombe RJS, Chouinard-Watkins R, Hopperton KE, Bazinet RP. Complete assessment of whole-body n-3 and n-6 PUFA synthesis-secretion kinetics and DHA turnover in a rodent model. J Lipid Res. 2018 Feb;59(2):357-367

Layé S, Nadjar A, Joffre C, Bazinet RP. Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in the Brain: Physiological Mechanisms and Relevance to Pharmacology. Pharmacol Rev. 2018 Jan;70(1):12-38

Metherel AH, Chouinard-Watkins R, Trépanier MO, Lacombe RJS, Bazinet RP.Retroconversion is a minor contributor to increases in eicosapentaenoic acid following docosahexaenoic acid feeding as determined by compound specific isotope analysis in rat liver. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2017 Nov 28;14:75

Chouinard-Watkins R, Lacombe RJS, Bazinet RP. Mechanisms regulating brain docosahexaenoic acid uptake: what is the recent evidence? Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2018 Mar;21(2):71-77

Hopperton KE, Trepanier MO, James NCE, Chouinard-Watkins R, Bazinet RP. Fish oil feeding attenuates neuroinflammatory gene expression without concomitant changes in brain eicosanoids and docosanoids in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Brain Behav Immun. 2017 Nov 3. pii: S0889-1591(17)30485-3. doi

Metherel AH, Kitson AP, Domenichiello AF, Lacombe RJ, Hopperton KE, Trepanier MO, Alashmali SM, Lin L, Bazinet RP. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) accretion in the placenta but not the fetus is matched by plasma unesterified DHA uptake rates in pregnant Long Evans rats. Placenta. 2017 Oct;58:90-97

Santaren ID, Watkins SM, Liese AD, Wagenknecht LE, Rewers MJ, Haffner SM, Lorenzo C, Festa A, Bazinet RP, Hanley AJ. Individual serum saturated fatty acids and markers of chronic subclinical inflammation: the Insulin Resistance Atherosclerosis Study. J Lipid Res. 2017 Nov;58(11):2171-217

Alashmali SM, Kitson AP, Lin L, Lacombe RJS, Bazinet RP. Maternal dietary n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid deprivation does not exacerbate post-weaning reductions in arachidonic acid and its mediators in the mouse hippocampus. Nutr Neurosci. 2017 Sep 13:1-12

Desai HR, Sivasubramaniyam T, Revelo XS, Schroer SA, Luk CT, Rikkala PR, Metherel AH, Dodington DW, Park YJ, Kim MJ, Rapps JA, Besla R, Robbins CS, Wagner KU, Bazinet RP, Winer DA, Woo M. Macrophage JAK2 deficiency protects against high-fat diet-induced inflammation. Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 9;7(1):7653

Chouinard-Watkins R, Chen CT, Metherel AH, Lacombe RJS, Thies F, Masoodi M, Bazinet RP. Phospholipid class-specific brain enrichment in response to lysophosphatidylcholine docosahexaenoic acid infusion. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017 Oct;1862(10 Pt A):1092-1098

Sivasubramaniyam T, Schroer SA, Li A, Luk CT, Shi SY, Besla R, Dodington DW, Metherel AH, Kitson AP, Brunt JJ, Lopes J, Wagner KU, Bazinet RP, Bendeck MP, Robbins CS, Woo M. Hepatic JAK2 protects against atherosclerosis through circulating IGF-1. JCI Insight. 2017 Jul 20;2(14)

Lacombe RJS, Giuliano V, Colombo SM, Arts MT, Bazinet RP. Compound specific isotope analysis resolves the dietary origin of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the mouse brain. J Lipid Res. 2017 [in press]

Hennebelle M, Zhang Z, Metherel AH, Kitson AP, Otoki Y, Richardson CE, Yang J, Lee KSS, Hammock BD, Zhang L, Bazinet RP, Taha AY. Linoleic acid participates in the response to ischemic brain injury through oxidized metabolites that regulate neurotransmission. Sci Rep. 2017 Jun 28;7(1):4342

Metherel AH, Kitson AP, Domenichiello AF, Lacombe RJS, Hopperton KE, Trépanier MO, Alashmali SM, Lin L, Bazinet RP. Maternal liver docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) stores are increased via higher serum unesterified DHA uptake in pregnant long Evans rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2017 Aug;46:143-150

Islam R, Trépanier MO, Milenkovic M, Horsfall W, Salahpour A, Bazinet RP, Ramsey AJ. Vulnerability to omega-3 deprivation in a mouse model of NMDA receptor hypofunction. NPJ Schizophr. 2017 Mar 22;3:12

Lewis EJH, Perkins BA, Lovblom LE, Bazinet RP, Wolever TMS, Bril V. Effect of omega-3 supplementation on neuropathy in type 1 diabetes: A 12-month pilot trial. Neurology. 2017 Jun 13;88(24):2294-2301

Lin L, Metherel AH, Jones PJ, Bazinet RP. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) regulates hypercapnia/ischemia-induced increases in n-acylethanolamines in mouse brain. J Neurochem. 2017 Sep;142(5):662-671

Lewis EJ, Perkins BA, Lovblom LE, Bazinet RP, Wolever TM, Bril V.Using in vivo corneal confocal microscopy to identify diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy risk profiles in patients with type 1 diabetes. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2017 Feb 16;5(1)

Shi SY, Schroer SA, Luk CT, Kim MJ, Dodington DW, Lin L, Sivasubramaniyam T, Cai EP, Lu SY, Wagner KU, Bazinet RP, Woo M. Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) Dissociates Hepatosteatosis from Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Mice. J Biol Chem. 2017. Jan 18

Vuksan V, Jenkins AL, Brissette C, Choleva L, Jovanovski E, Gibbs AL, Bazinet RP, Au-Yeung F, Zurbau A, Ho HV, Duvnjak L, Sievenpiper JL, Josse RG, Hanna A. Salba-chia (Salvia hispanica L.) in the treatment of overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2017. Feb;27(2):138-46

Metherel AH, Domenichiello AF, Kitson AP, Lin YH, Bazinet RP. Serum n-3 Tetracosapentaenoic Acid and Tetracosahexaenoic Acid Increase Following Higher Dietary alpha-Linolenic Acid but not Docosahexaenoic Acid. Lipids. 2017. Feb;52(2):167-72

Trepanier MO, Eiden M, Morin-Rivron D, Bazinet RP, Masoodi M. High-resolution lipidomics coupled with rapid fixation reveals novel ischemia-induced signaling in the rat neurolipidome. J Neurochem. 2017. Mar;140(5):766-75

Domenichiello AF, Kitson AP, Metherel AH, Chen CT, Hopperton KE, Stavro PM, Bazinet RP. Whole-Body Docosahexaenoic Acid Synthesis-Secretion Rates in Rats Are Constant across a Large Range of Dietary alpha-Linolenic Acid Intakes. J Nutr. 2017. Jan;147(1):37-44

Hafizi S, Tseng HH, Rao N, Selvanathan T, Kenk M, Bazinet RP, Suridjan I, Wilson AA, Meyer JH, Remington G, Houle S, Rusjan PM, Mizrahi R. Imaging Microglial Activation in Untreated First-Episode Psychosis: A PET Study With [18F]FEPPA. Am J Psychiatry. 2017. Feb 01;174(2):118-24

Honours and Awards

  • Canadian Nutrition Society:  Young Investigator Award for Outstanding Research (2016)
  • Tier II Canada Research Chair in Brain Lipid Metabolism (2013)
  • American Oil Chemists’ Society:  Young Scientist Award (2012)
  • Faculty of Medicine Excellence in Graduate Teaching - Early Career.  University of Toronto (2011)
  • Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation: Early Researcher Award (2011)
  • International Life Sciences Institute:  Future Leaders Award (2011)
  • Jordi Folch-Pi Early Career Award:  American Society for Neurochemistry (2010)
  • International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids:  Early Career Award (2008)