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

Richard Bazinet

Department of Nutritional Sciences


Medical Sciences Building
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. Lai KZH, Yehia NA, Semnani-Azad Z, Mejia SB, Boucher BA, Malik V, Bazinet RP, Hanley AJ. Lifestyle Factors Associated with Circulating Very Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acids in Humans: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies. Adv Nutr. 2023 Jan;14(1):99-114. doi: 10.1016/j.advnut.2022.10.004. Epub 2022 Dec 17. PMID: 36811597.
  2. Carey CN, Paquette M, Sahye-Pudaruth S, Dadvar A, Dinh D, Khodabandehlou K, Liang F, Mishra E, Sidhu M, Brown R, Tandon S, Wanyan J, Bazinet RP, Hanley AJ, Malik V, Sievenpiper JL, Jenkins DJ. The Environmental Sustainability of Plant-Based Dietary Patterns: A Scoping Review. J Nutr. 2023 Feb 6:S0022-3166(23)06589-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tjnut.2023.02.001. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36809853.
  3. Pitino MA, Unger S, Doyen A, Pouliot Y, Kothari A, Sergius-Ronot M, Bazinet RP, Stone D, O'Connor DL. Digestion of human milk processed by high pressure processing and Holder pasteurization using a dynamic in vitro model of the preterm infant. Food Chem. 2023 Jun 15;411:135477. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2023.135477. Epub 2023 Jan 11. PMID: 36701922.
  4. Badewy R, Azarpazhooh A, Tenenbaum H, Connor KL, Lai JY, Sgro M, Bazinet RP, Fine N, Watson E, Sun C, Saha S, Glogauer M. The Association between Maternal Oral Inflammation and Neutrophil Phenotypes and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids Composition in Human Milk: A Prospective Cohort Study. Cells. 2022 Dec 17;11(24):4110. doi: 10.3390/cells11244110. PMID: 36552874; PMCID: PMC9777263.
  5. Umaru BA, Kagawa Y, Ohsaki Y, Pan Y, Chen CT, Chen DK, Abe T, Shil SK, Miyazaki H, Kobayashi S, Maekawa M, Yamamoto Y, Wannakul T, Yang S, Bazinet RP, Owada Y. Oleic acid-bound FABP7 drives glioma cell proliferation through regulation of nuclear lipid droplet formation. FEBS J. 2022 Nov 3. doi: 10.1111/febs.16672. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36325660.
  6. Lacombe RJS, Smith ME, Perlman K, Turecki G, Mechawar N, Bazinet RP. Quantitative and carbon isotope ratio analysis of fatty acids isolated from human brain hemispheres. J Neurochem. 2023 Jan;164(1):44-56. doi: 10.1111/jnc.15702. Epub 2022 Nov 2. PMID: 36196762.
  7. Yehia NA, Lai KZH, Semnani-Azad Z, Blanco Mejia S, Bazinet RP, Beaudry JL, Hanley AJ. Association of branched chain fatty acids with cardiometabolic disorders in humans: a systematic review. Nutr Rev. 2023 Jan 10;81(2):180-190. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuac051. PMID: 36029228.
  8. He W, Tran A, Chen CT, Loganathan N, Bazinet RP, Belsham DD. Oleate restores altered autophagic flux to rescue palmitate lipotoxicity in hypothalamic neurons. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2022 Nov 1;557:111753. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2022.111753. Epub 2022 Aug 15. PMID: 35981630.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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