Associate Professor

Alexander Ensminger

Molecular Genetics


MaRS West Tower
661 University Avenue, Room 1637, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 1M1
Research Interests
Bacterial and fungal pathogens, CRISPR-Cas9 and genome engineering, Evolution and phylogenetics, Infectious disease and microbiology, Protein-protein, DNA-protein, and RNA-protein interactions, Yeast

The Ensminger lab is interested in the evolution of microbial pathogens and the mechanisms by which these diminutive organisms persist in our environment and make us sick.

We focus our attention primarily on Legionella pneumophila, a remarkable bacterial pathogen that maintains the microbial world’s largest known arsenal of translocated effectors (with over 300 identified to date). Unlocking the secrets of this arsenal holds immense promise to provide novel insight into fundamental eukaryotic pathways, human health, and disease.

We use a variety of approaches in the lab, from advanced sequencing technologies (Illumina, Pacific Biosciences), bioinformatics, microbial genetics, high-throughput genetic and chemogenetic screening, and experimental evolution.

Courses taught

  • BCH428


  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto