After receiving his PhD in Molecular and Medical Genetics from the University of Toronto in 1997, Professor Emili pursued post-doctoral studies as a Damon Runyon/Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fellow with the Nobel Laureate Leland Hartwell at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle. During this time, he also learnt protein mass spectrometry with a pioneer, John Yates III, then at the University of Washington.
In 2000, Professor Emili established his own independent laboratory in the Banting and Best Department of Medical Research in Toronto, before assuming a founding role in the Donnelly Center for Cellular and Biomedical Research at the University of Toronto in 2004. During his formative period there, he developed and applied innovative functional proteomic, genomic and bioinformatic methods to investigate biological systems and global molecular association networks in human cells and model organisms. In particular, he focused on developing quantitative, high precision mass spectrometry-based approaches to characterize endogenous multiprotein complexes in a comprehensive, high-throughput manner. Prof. Emili was also elected as the Ontario University Research Chair in Biomarker Discovery. The expertise and leadership experience he developed there were major reasons he was recruited first to BU and then to the Knight – his experience with state-of-the-art proteomics technology is evident in the focus of the CNSB.
Professor Emili has published 300 papers with >40,000 citations (h-index 85), including genome-wide studies of soluble and membrane protein complexes in yeast (Cell 2005; Nature 2006; Mol Cell 2004; Nature 2012), E. coli (Nature Biotech 2018, Nature 2005; PLoS Biol 2009), and human cells (Cell 2012; Cell Systems 2020), documenting hundreds of protein-protein interactions, macromolecular assemblies, and dynamic biomolecular systems linked to core biological processes and human disease.
Professor Emili’s influence in the systems biology research community is widely recognized, and his group’s tools and data are widely accessed. He reviews regularly for prominent journals such as Cell, Science and Nature, while serving on national and international grant review panels. Professor Emili was also editor of “Network Biology” and “Systems Analysis” books with >50,000 downloads, and he has given >200 formal talks at research conferences, international symposia and workshops.
The CNSB has forged extensive links to numerous research faculty and associated educational initiatives at institutions, including with scientists in Systems Biology, Bioinformatics Computing and Data Sciences and diverse Graduate Programs at OHSU.