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Dr. Eleanor Fish - University Health Network. Toronto, ON, CA

Dr. Eleanor Fish Dr. Eleanor Fish

Senior Scientist, Division of Advanced Diagnostics - Infection & Immunity Toronto General Research Institute | University Health Network

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Helping develop develop therapeutic intervention strategies for a variety of clinical indications.





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Shut Out H1N1 (HD) www.shutoutH1N1.ca




Dr. Eleanor Fish's research aims to understand the difference in incidence and severity of diseases between men and women, with the goal of developing more effective, tailored therapeutic interventions. Her studies of immune proteins and disease susceptibility may have implications for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (which disproportionately affect women), as well as specific viral infections.

Dr. Fish aims to understand the immune mechanisms that drive autoimmunity, specifically in relation to rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. This research is focused on the interactions of cytokines, specifically interferons and chemokines, with their receptors in normal and diseased tissues and cells. Her group’s studies related to rheumatoid arthritis, using human patient specimens and mouse models of disease, have identified a fibrocyte stem cell population that may be associated with the earliest pathogenic events that trigger autoimmune diseases.

To develop broad-spectrum antivirals, Dr. Fish investigates host-pathogen interactions at the cellular and molecular level. During the 2003 outbreak of SARS in Toronto, Dr. Fish initiated studies to investigate the therapeutic potential of interferon in SARS patients. Encouraging results have directed her group's efforts toward examining interferon activity against a number of emerging infectious diseases, including influenza.

Industry Expertise (5)


Health Care - Services

Health Care - Facilities

Advanced Medical Equipment


Areas of Expertise (10)




Cytokines - Interferons and Chemokines



Pandemic Infections



Women's Health

Education (1)

University of Toronto: Ph.D., Immunology and Cell Biology

Affiliations (5)

  • Canada Research Chair in Women's Health and Immunobiology
  • Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Centre : Director
  • University of Toronto, Department of Immunology : Professor
  • McLaughlin Scholar
  • American Society of Microbiologists : Fellow

Media Appearances (3)

Ebola outbreak: Experimental treatment sparks who-you-know debate

CNCNews  online


Getting access to an experimental treatment for the deadly Ebola virus seems to depend entirely on who you know. If you work for a charity run by the son of a famous U.S. evangelist, with the resources to fly a few precious vials of experimental vaccine to your bedside, you can get it. But a few weeks ago, back when it was mostly African villagers who were dying of Ebola, the question was asked in several thoughtful medical articles: "Is it time to consider using experimental treatments not yet tested on humans?"...

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Immunology Goes to Africa – Eleanor Fish’s Odyssey

Immpress Magazine  online


The sleepy city of Eldoret lies in the lush, hilly regions of western Kenya, an area known for its agriculture and endurance athletes. Eldoret is also home to Kenya’s second medical school at Moi University (MU) and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH). Over the last decade, a partnership between the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) and the University of Toronto Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has been working to improve reproductive healthcare for women in Kenya. The AMPATH mandate has been to improve access to primary healthcare, with U of T providing education for students at MU as well as community healthcare workers. Every year Dr. Eleanor Fish spends three weeks teaching and mentoring immunology to healthcare practitioners and students at MU as part of the AMPATH-UofT program...

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Funding for antiviral research key in flu fight doctor says

The Globe and Mail  online


Eleanor Fish thinks interferon, a drug usually used to treat people with cancer, might help patients with serious cases of H1N1. The immunologist at the University Health Network in Toronto has preliminary data that suggest the synthetic version of a compound produced by the human immune system might be an effective treatment for swine flu. But she is having trouble securing the money to test it...

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Event Appearances (2)

Invited Speaker

Federation of African Immunological Societies  Nairobi, Kenya


Wide-spectrum Anti-Virals: Interferon

First African Symposium on Avian and Pandemic Influenza  Abuja, Nigeria


Articles (4)

Circulating fibrocytes contribute to the pathogenesis of collagen antibody–induced arthritis Arthritis & Rheumatism


Objective Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease resulting in joint inflammation. Fibroblast‐like synoviocytes in affected joints are responsible for pannus formation and cytokine/chemokine production, resulting in...

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Sex affects immunity Journal of Autoimmunity


Sex based differences in immune responses, affecting both the innate and adaptive immune responses, contribute to differences in the pathogenesis of infectious diseases in males and females, the response to viral vaccines and the...

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The yin and yang of viruses and interferons Trends in Immunology


Interferons (IFNs)-α/β are critical effectors of the innate immune response to virus infections. Through activation of the IFN-α/β receptor (IFNAR), they induce expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) that encode antiviral proteins capable of...

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Signaling pathways activated by interferons Experimental Hematology


Interferons are pleiotropic cytokines that exhibit negative regulatory effects on the growth of normal and malignant hematopoietic cells in vitro and in vivo. There are two different classes of interferons, Type I (α, β, and ω) and Type II (γ)...

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