Assistant Professor

Shraddha Pai

PhD, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
MaRS Centre, 661 University Avenue, Suite 510, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5G 0A3
Research Interests
Cancer Mechanisms and Models, Data Science and Computational Biology, Neuroscience

At a Glance

  • Genomics of brain disorders and brain cancers
  • Epigenomic origin of disease & treatment resistance; epigenetic therapies
  • Algorithm development for drug discovery and precision oncology
  • Keywords: Epigenomics; Neurodevelopmental disorders; Precision oncology; Gene regulation; Genomics; Epigenomics; Systems biology; Networks

Short Bio

Dr. Pai has an interdisciplinary background in neuroscience, disease genomics, computational biology, and systems biology. She received her B.Math. in Hon. Computer Science (Bioinformatics) from the University of Waterloo and her PhD in Biological Sciences from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (NY, USA), using experimental and analytic approaches to identify the brain-basis of short-term memory in rodents. Dr. Pai’s first postdoctoral fellowship was in epigenetics of human brain and mental illness at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. Her second postdoctoral fellowship was at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research in Toronto, developing machine learning methods for precision medicine. Dr. Pai is a recipient of the 2014 NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2014 CIHR Fellowship Award, and the 2019 Donnelly Centre Research Excellence Award for Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates.

Research Synopsis

The Pai laboratory’s goal is to bring genomics and epigenetics to the clinic. We focus on childhood and adult brain cancers, and on disorders of neurodevelopmental origins.

We perform pre-clinical research analyzing patient and disease genomes to discover better biomarkers for clinical decision-making, including diagnostics, prognostics, treatment resistance, and pre-diagnostic biomarkers. Our projects combine approaches from genomics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, tissue culture, histology, functional genomics, machine learning, and pharmacology.

To learn more, visit our lab website at:

Recent Publications

  • Pai S, Li P, Killinger B, Marshall L, Jia P, Liao J, Petronis A, Szabó PE, Labrie V (2019). Differential methylation of enhancer at IGF2 is associated with abnormal dopamine synthesis in major psychosis. Nature Comms. 10:2046.
  • Pai S, Hui S, Isserlin R, Shah MA, Kaka H, Bader GD. (2019). netDx: interpretable patient classification using integrated patient similarity networks. Mol Sys Biol 15:e8497
  • Pai S and Bader GD. (2018). Patient Similarity Networks for Precision Medicine. Invited review. J Mol Biol. 430 (18 Pt A); 2924.
  • Khare T, Pai S, Koncevicius K, Pal M, Kriukiene E, Liutkeviciute Z, Irimia M, Jia P, Ptak C, Xia M, Tice R, Tochigi M, Moréra S, Nazarians A, Belsham D, Wong AH, Blencowe BJ, Wang SC, Kapranov P, Kustra R, Labrie V, Klimasauskas S, Petronis A. (2012). 5-hmC in the brain is abundant in synaptic genes and shows differences at the exon-intron boundary. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 19 (10): 1037-43. Co-lead author.
  • Labrie V, Pai S, Petronis A. (2012) Epigenetics of major psychosis: progress, problems and perspectives. TiGs, invited review. 28 (9): 427-35. Co-lead author.

Honours and Awards

2019 Donnelly Centre Research Excellence award
2014 NARSAD Young Investigator award
2014 CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship
2004-2008 Dana Foundation Fellow, WSBS
2004 NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship