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Ali Abdul-Sater

Ali Abdul-Sater

Picture of Ali Abdul-Sater
Ali Abdul-Sater
Associate Professor

Eligible to Supervise

Biology Graduate Program

About Me

Ali Abdul-Sater obtained his Master of Science from the American University of Beirut and completed his Ph. D. in Immunology in 2010 at the University of California, Merced. He then trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University in New York City before moving to Canada in 2013 to continue his postdoctoral training in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto. In 2016, Dr. Abdul-Sater joined the School of Kinesiology and Health Science in the Faculty of Health at York University as an Assistant Professor and established his research group. In 2022, he joined the Biology Graduate program at York University as an associate member.

Dr. Abdul-Sater’s research program is focused on understanding how inflammation is regulated and on exploring ways to modulate the inflammatory response to devise new therapies for autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis. He has published several high-profile research articles in top scientific journals like Nature Immunology, Immunity, Frontiers in Immunology and OncoImmunology. Dr. Abdul-Sater has been recognized with several prestigious awards including the “Stars Career Development Award” from the Arthritis Society, a “Research Chair in the Regulatory Mechanisms of Inflammation” from York University, the “Bhagirath Singh Early Career Award in Infection and Immunity” from CIHR and the “Faculty of Health Dean’s Early Career Research Award” from York University.

Specifically, Dr. Abdul-Sater’s lab is interested in identifying novel regulators of inflammation and understanding the molecular mechanisms through which these regulators control innate immunity and the inflammatory response. They are currently pursuing several avenues of research, and they include:

1) Specific targeting of TRAF1 to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis and other inflammation-driven diseases.
2) Investigating the molecular mechanisms through which different exercise regimens regulate the immune response.
3) Assessing the role of individual Type I interferons in bacterial and viral responses.

Selected Publications

  1. Ali Mirzaesmaeili*, Safoura Zangiabadi*, Jonathan Raspanti*, Ali Akram*, Robert D Inman and Ali A. Abdul-Sater#. Cutting Edge: Negative Regulation of Inflammasome Activation by TRAF1 Can Limit Gout. Journal of Immunology (Accepted) 2023 Jan.
  2. Eddie Tam, Hye Kyoung Sung, Nhat Hung Lam, Sally You, Sungji Cho, Saher M. Ahmed, Ali A. Abdul-Sater, Gary Sweeney. Role of mitochondrial iron overload in mediating cell death in H9c2 cells. Cells 2023, 12(1), 118;
  3. Sung HK, Murugathasan M*, Reboucas P, Abdul-Sater AA, Sweeney G. Autophagy deficiency exacerbates iron overload induced reactive oxygen species production and apoptotic cell death in skeletal muscle cells. Cell Death & Disease 2022 Nov (In Press)
  4. Emily C. Fraschetti, Lauren E. Skelly, Joel L. Prowting, Ali A. Abdul-Sater, and Andrea R. Josse. The acute effects of milk consumption on systemic inflammation after combined resistance and plyometric exercise in young adult females. Nutrients 2022 Oct 28;14(21):4532. doi: 10.3390/nu14214532.
  5. Samuel A. Killackey, Nathaniel J. Winsor, Dana J. Philpott, Ali A. Abdul-Sater, and Stephen E. Girardin. Mitochondrial protein import stress regulates the LC3 lipidation step of mitophagy through NLRX1 and RRBP1. Molecular Cell 2022 Aug 4;82(15):2815-2831.e5.  doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2022.06.004.
  6. Safoura Zangiabadi and Ali A. Abdul-Sater. Regulation of the NLRP3 Inflammasome by Posttranslational Modifications. The Journal of Immunology, 15, 2022, 208 (2) 286-292; DOI:
  7. Maria I Edilova, Jaclyn C Law, Safoura Zangiabadi, Kenneth Ting, Achire Mbanwi, Andrea Arruda, David Uehling, Methvin Isaac, Michael Prakesch, Rima Al-awar, Mark D Minden, Ali A. Abdul-Sater, and Tania H. Watts. (Abdul-Sater and Watts are joint senior authors). The PKN1- TRAF1 signaling axis as a potential new target for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Oncoimmunolgy – Volume 10, 2021 - Issue 1
  8. Maria I. Edilova, Ali Akram and Ali A. Abdul Sater. Innate Immunity Drives Pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Biomedical Journal, 2020 Jul 8:S2319-4170(20)30098-6. doi: 10.1016/
  9. David Ojcius, Ardavan Jafari, Laxmi Yeruva, Christian Schindler and Ali Abdul-Sater. Dicer controls the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes.¶ Co-first authors PLoS One 2019 Apr 23;14(4):e0215689. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215689.
  10. Dhillon B, Aleithan F, Abdul-Sater Z, Abdul-Sater AA. The Evolving Role of TRAFs in Mediating Inflammatory Responses. Frontiers in Immunology, 2019 Feb
  11. Edilova MI, Abdul-Sater AA, Watts TH. TRAF1 Signaling in Human Health and Disease. Frontiers in Immunology, 2018 Dec 18;9:2969. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.02969.
  12. Chang YH, Wang KC, Chu KL, Clouthier DL, Tran AT, Torres Perez MS, Zhou AC, Abdul-Sater AA, Watts TH. Dichotomous Expression of TNF Superfamily Ligands on Antigen-Presenting Cells Controls Post-priming Anti-viral CD4+ T Cell Immunity. Immunity, 2017 Nov 21;47(5):943-958
  13. Abdul-Sater AA, Edilova MI, Clouthier DL, Mbanwi A, Kremmer E, Watts TH. The signaling adaptor TRAF1 negatively regulates Toll-like receptor signaling and this underlies its role in rheumatic disease. Nature Immunology, 2017 Jan;18(1):26-35. doi: 10.1038/ni.3618. Highlighted by Nature Reviews Rheumatology: Reduced TRAF1 exacerbates inflammation. doi:10.1038/nrrheum.2016.203
  14. Abdul-Sater AA, Majoros A, Plumlee CR, Perry S, Gu AD, Lee C, Shresta S, Decker T, Schindler C. Different STAT transcription complexes drive early and delayed responses to type I Interferons. The Journal of Immunology, 2015 Jul 1;195(1):210-6. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1401139
  15. Abdul-Sater AA, Tattoli I, Jin L, Grajkowski A, Levi A, Koller BH, Allen IC, Beaucage SL, Fitzgerald KA, Ting JP, Cambier JC, Girardin SE, Schindler C. Cyclic-di-GMP and cyclic-di-AMP activate the NLRP3 inflammasome. EMBO Reports 2013 Sep 6. doi: 10.1038/embor.2013.132


Immune responses, inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, infections, autoimmune diseases, chronic inflammatory diseases, exercise immunology

Research Areas

Cell and Molecular Biology