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Ran Kafri

Title: Senior Scientist, Cell Biology
Designations: PhD
Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 309092
Alternate Contact Name: Sandy Hume
Alternate Phone: 416-813-5731
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics
Chair Positions: Canada Research Chair Tier 2 in Quantitative Cell Biology


Prior to joining SickKids, Dr. Ran Kafri completed his doctoral thesis at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel) in the laboratories of Drs. Lancet and Pipel. His studies were the first to realize that genetic redundancies are a utilized component of cellular control, rather than passive leftovers of ancient gene duplication events. Following the completion of his doctoral thesis, he completed his postdoctoral training in the laboratories of Drs. Lahav and Kirschner at the Harvard Medical School (Cambridge, MA, USA) where he derived the ergodic rate analysis (ERA), a method that accurately interprets cellular dynamics from measurements of large populations of fixed cells.


Research in Dr. Kafri’s lab is primarily aimed at introducing the question of size uniformity into the subject of cell size. Two fundamental questions are:

  1. How do a common set of signals (including mTORC1) specify a different and distinct size for each of the different animal cell types?
  2. When considering cells of a given type, how are numerous individual cells in the tissue regulated to have the same exact size? Paradoxically, Dr. Kafri’s research findings on cell size have paved the road to a fundamentally new perspective on cancer prevention and cancer risk. Specifically, he examines whether a person's cancer risk derives from changes in the setpoint of mTORC1 homeostasis.


  • 2002–2006: PhD, Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
  • 2000–2002: MSc, Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
  • 1996–1999: BSc, Chemistry and Biophysics, Ben-Gurion University, Beersheba, Israel


  • 2022–Present: Senior Scientist, Cell Biology Program, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON
  • 2013–2022: Scientist, Cell Biology Program, SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, ON
  • 2013–Present: Assistant Professor, Deparment of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
  • 2010–2013: Lecturer, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 2006–2010: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Systems Biology
    Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


  • 2021–2026: Canada Research Chair Tier 2, Canadian Foundation of Innovation
  • 2017–2018: Medicine by Design MHSeed Program Award, University of Toronto (Engineering & Medicine)
  • 2016–2021: Canada Research Chair Tier 2, Canadian Foundation of Innovation
  • 2016–2021: Early Researcher Award, Ministry of Research and Innovation
  • 2010–2012: Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Harvard Medical School
  • 2007–2010: Human Frontier Science Program Fellowship, Harvard Medical School


  1. Anzi S, Stolovich-Rain M, Klochendler A, Fridlich O, Helman A, Paz-Sonnenfeld A, Avni-Magen N, Kaufman E, Ginzberg MB, Snider D, Ray S, Brecht M, Holmes MM, Meir K, Avivi A, Shams I, Berkowitz A, Shapiro AMJ, Glaser B, Ben-Sasson S, Kafri R, Dor Y.  Postnatal Exocrine Pancreas Growth by Cellular Hypertrophy Correlates with a Shorter Lifespan in Mammals.  Dev. Cell 2018: 45 (6): 726-37.
  2. Ginzberg MB, Chang N, D'Souza H, Patel N, Kafri R, Kirschner MW. Cell size sensing in animal cells coordinates anabolic growth rates and cell cycle progression to maintain cell size uniformity.  eLife 2018: 7: e26957.
  3. Liu S, Ginzberg MB, Patel N, Hild M, Leung B, Li Z, Chen YC, Chang N, Wang Y, Tan C, Diena S, Trimble W, Wasserman L, Jenkins JL, Kirschner MW, Kafri R.  Size uniformity of animal cells is actively maintained by a p38 MAPK-dependent regulation of G1-length.  eLife 2018: 7: e26947.
  4. Ginzberg MB, Kafri R, Kirschner M.  Cell biology. On being the right (cell) size.  Science 2015: 348 (6236): 1245075.
  5. Kafri R, Levy J, Ginzberg MB, Oh S, Lahav G, Kirschner MW.  Dynamics extracted from fixed cells reveal feedback linking cell growth to cell cycle.  Nature 2013: 494 (7438): 480-3.

See a full list of Ran Kafri's publications

  • 2022–2023: Garron Family Cancer Centre (GFCC) Pitblado Discovery Grant – Younger Foundation Young Investigator Award. Using skin biopsies to diagnose cancer susceptibility in Li Fraumeni Syndrome patients
  • 2021–2026: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) – Project Grant. Identifying mechanisms of cell size sensing with implications in normal and malignant populations
  • 2015–2023: Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) – Discovery Grant. Size regulation in animal cells
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