Professor  |  Associate Chair, Research and Innovation | Canada Research Chair in Brain Lipid Metabolism

Richard Bazinet

Department of Nutritional Sciences


Medical Sciences Building, 5th Floor, Room 5358
1 King's College Circle, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5S 1A8
Research Interests
nutritional neuroscience, brain lipid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, genomics, neurodegenerative disease
Appointment Status
Pending the availability of funding


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Brain Physiology and Metabolism Section, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (2003-2006)
  • PhD, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (1998-2003)
  • BSc, Department of Human Ecology (Foods and Nutrition), Faculty of Science, University of Western Ontario (1994-1998)

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At a Glance

  • Dr. Bazinet is a Canada Research Chair in Brain Lipid Metabolism.
  • Dr. Bazinet’s research program is focused on the regulation and role of brain lipid metabolism in neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders.

About Dr. Richard Bazinet

Dr. Bazinet received his BSc from the University of Western Ontario and completed his PhD under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Cunnane at the University of Toronto in 2003. Dr. Bazinet then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Stanley Rapoport’s Brain Physiology and Metabolism Section at the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health. Dr. Bazinet joined the University of Toronto in 2006, where he is currently a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Brain Lipid Metabolism. Dr. Bazinet is currently the Past-President of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL).

Research Synopsis

The overall goal of Dr. Bazinet’s 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. Dr. Bazinet and his team 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.  

Bazinet lab studies, while largely basic in nature, include disease models and we have several ongoing collaborations examining clinical studies. Their work has influenced international guidelines for the consumption of dietary fats for brain health. Dr. Bazinet and his team are currently collaborating with large agribusinesses and are also working with the local food community including farmers, chefs and food writers.

Recent Awards and Distinctions (Selected)

Faculty of Medicine Mid-Career Excellence in Graduate Teaching & Mentorship Award, University of Toronto (2021)

Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award, American Oil Chemists’ Society (2020)

Award for Spreading Knowledge of Health Sciences to the Grand Chinese Public, Chinese Association for Health Promotion and Education (2018)

Young Investigator Award for Outstanding Research, Canadian Nutrition Society (2016)

Canada Research Chair in Brain Lipid Metabolism (2013)

National and International Committee Memberships (Current)

Member, International Food4BrainHealth Laboratories (2018 – present)

Executive, International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (2015 – present)

Editor-In-Chief, Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (2010 – present)

Recent Publications

  1. Liu J, Sahin C, Ahmad S, Magomedova L, Zhang M, Jia Z, Metherel AH, Orellana A, Poda G, Bazinet RP, Attisano L, Cummins CL, Peng H, Krause HM. The omega-3 hydroxy fatty acid 7(S)-HDHA is a high-affinity PPARα ligand that regulates brain neuronal morphology. Sci Signal. 2022 Jul 5;15(741):eabo1857. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.abo1857. Epub 2022 Jul 5. PMID: 35857636.
  2. Di Miceli M, Martinat M, Rossitto M, Aubert A, Alashmali S, Bosch-Bouju C, Fioramonti X, Joffre C, Bazinet RP, Layé S. Dietary Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation Alters Electrophysiological Properties in the Nucleus Accumbens and Emotional Behavior in Naïve and Chronically Stressed Mice. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 14;23(12):6650. doi: 10.3390/ijms23126650. PMID: 35743093; PMCID: PMC9224532.
  3. Hopperton KE, Pitino MA, Walton K, Kiss A, Unger SL, O'Connor DL, Bazinet RP. Docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid levels are correlated in human milk: Implications for new European infant formula regulations. Lipids. 2022 Feb 15. doi: 10.1002/lipd.12338. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35170053.
  4. Sylvestre DA, Otoki Y, Metherel AH, Bazinet RP, Slupsky CM, Taha AY. Effects of hypercapnia / ischemia and dissection on the rat brain metabolome. Neurochem Int. 2022 Jan 29:105294. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2022.105294. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35104537.
  5. Cisbani G, Koppel A, Metherel AH, Smith ME, Aji KN, Andreazza AC, Mizrahi R, Bazinet RP. Serum lipid analysis and isotopic enrichment is suggestive of greater lipogenesis in young long-term cannabis users: A secondary analysis of a case-control study. Lipids. 2022 Jan 24. doi: 10.1002/lipd.12336. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35075659.
  6. Furber KL, Lacombe RJS, Caine S, Thangaraj MP, Read S, Rosendahl SM, Bazinet RP, Popescu BF, Nazarali AJ. Biochemical Alterations in White Matter Tracts of the Aging Mouse Brain Revealed by FTIR Spectroscopy Imaging. Neurochem Res. 2021 Nov 24. doi: 10.1007/s11064-021-03491-y. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34820737.
  7. Smith ME, Cisbani G, Metherel AH, Bazinet RP. The majority of brain palmitic acid is maintained by lipogenesis from dietary sugars and is augmented in mice fed low palmitic acid levels from birth. J Neurochem. 2021 Nov 15. doi: 10.1111/jnc.15539. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34780089.
  8. Perlman K, Chouinard-Watkins R, Tanti A, Cisbani G, Orri M, Turecki G, Bazinet RP, Mechawar N. Fatty acid dysregulation in the anterior cingulate cortex of depressed suicides with a history of child abuse. Transl Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 18;11(1):535. doi: 10.1038/s41398-021-01657-4. PMID: 34663786; PMCID: PMC8523684.
  9. Yashpal S, Liese AD, Boucher BA, Wagenknecht LE, Haffner SM, Johnston LW, Bazinet RP, Rewers M, Rotter JI, Watkins SM, Hanley AJ. Metabolomic profiling of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet provides novel insights for the nutritional epidemiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Br J Nutr. 2021 Sep 13:1-11. doi: 10.1017/S0007114521003561. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34511138.
  10. Smith ME, Cisbani G, Lacombe RJS, Bazinet RP. A Scoping Review of Clinical Studies in Infants Fed Formulas Containing Palm Oil or Palm Olein and Sn-2 Palmitate. J Nutr. 2021 Oct 1;151(10):2997-3035. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxab246. PMID: 34510181; PMCID: PMC8485903.

In the News

Fish Oil is Good! No, Bad! No, Good! No, Wait. The Atlantic. August 5, 2022.

Brain health: food’s next frontier. The Western Producer. December 16, 2021.

Plant-based omegas and the case for Ahiflower: SupplySide West 2021 report. Nutritional Outlook. November 16, 2021.

Omega-3: The treatment in search of an illness makes a comeback. CBC News. September 14, 2019.

Do fish oil supplements work? Science keeps giving us slippery answers. Vox. November 19, 2018.

As Ghana gets ready to set standards for child nutrition, U of T researcher shares his science on brain health. U of T News. October 31, 2018.

Current Lab Members

Dr. Chuck Chen  – Research Associate

Dr. Camilla Parzanini – Research Associate

Mackenzie Smith – PhD student

Amy Symington – PhD student

Brinley Klievik – MSc student

Stanley Han Chi Leung - MSc student

Aidan Tyrrell – MSc student

Teaching Appointments

Course Instructor, NFS489H – Nutritional Neurosciences (undergraduate), Department of Nutritional Sciences, Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto