Portrait of Michael Garton

Michael Garton

Assistant Professor

PhD (University of Nottingham)

Research Stream: Molecular Engineering

Laboratory Website: www.gartonlab.org

Email: michael.garton@utoronto.ca | Office: Rosebrugh Building, Room 415

Main Appointments

  • Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering

Research Interests

Professor Garton’s Laboratory is integrating computational protein design techniques with high-throughput experimental methods to design living cells with new functions.

A key part of his research is the design of a modular receptor system with interchangeable recognition domains for soluble ligand recognition. This system is being designed to recognise molecules hitherto undetectable by cells in nature. It may therefore allow cells to sense new environments and receive unique synthetic signals. A major application of this will be cells that can detect disease-associated molecules. His group is linking the signals from this system to genetic circuitry designed to produce therapeutic responses, such as toggling on/off the expression and secretion of peptide drugs. They are also designing new transcription factor/promoter systems and a variety of biologics.

His research program aims to develop the full pipeline from computational design through to to preclinical testing and clinical trials. His long-term vision is to engineer smart living cell devices that cure serious disease.

Stories & Media


Having a Disability is Background Noise to Me

Professor Michael Garton's future prospects were altered after an accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. Despite the new obstacles in his path, Garton's passion continued to drive his career forward. He used the values needed as an experienced climber to build himself a successful research career at the University of Toronto's Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering.