David E. Lefebvre , PhD

Image Davd E. Lefebvre
Division Chief, Regulatory Toxicology Research Division

Division manager and Regulatory scientist specializing in food allergy, nanotechnology and the gastrointestinal immune system.

Current research and/or projects

Food allergy and celiac disease models

Immune toxicology of food chemical contaminants

Nanotechnology kinetics and toxicology in the gastrointestinal tract

Genomic applications in food toxicology

Professional activities / interests

Society of Toxicology of Canada member; 2014-present

Health Canada – Food Directorate Nanotechnology Working Group member; 2008-present

Health Canada – Public Health Agency of Canada – Managers’ Network; 2017-present

European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology junior member; 2007-2017

International Life Sciences Institute – NanoRelease Food Additive project – steering committee member; 2012-2016

Education and awards


  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Office of the Chief Scientist, Health Canada; 2008
  • Ph.D. (Doctorate) Biochemistry, University of Ottawa; 2007


  • Deputy Minister’s Award for Excellence in Science, Health Canada; 2015
  • Deputy Minister's Awards for Excellence in Science, Health Canada; 2012
  • Developing and Delivering Programs to Enhance the Protection of Food Allergic Consumers and Celiac Individuals in Canada, Bureau of Chemical Safety Award, Health Canada; 2008
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; 2003-2006
  • Nutrition Immunology Graduate Student Award, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, Experimental Biology, Washington, DC; 2004
  • Young Investigator Award, 11th International Congress of Mucosal Immunology, Orlando, FL; 2002

Key publications

La Vieille S, Lefebvre DE, Khalid AF, Decan MR, Godefroy S.  Dietary restrictions for people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency.  Nutr Rev. 2019 Feb; 77(2): 96-106.

Lefebvre DE, Ross N, Kocmarek AL, Cowell S, Dai S, Qiao C, Curran I, Koerner T, Bondy GS, Fine JH. In vitro immunomodulation of splenocytes from DO11.10 mice by the food colouring agent amaranth. Food Chem Toxicol. 2017 Dec; 110: 395-401.

De Jong WH, Oomen AG, Tran L, Chaudhry Q, Lefebvre DE. Chapter 10: Engineered nanoparticles and food: exposure, toxicokinetics, hazards and risks. In Chaudhry, Castle, Watkins (Editors), Nanotechnologies in Food: Edition 2. London: Royal Society of Chemistry. 2017: p.200-227. ISBN 978-1-78262-171-3.

Fine JH, Bondy GS, Coady L, Pearce B, Ross N, Tayabali AF, Halappanavar S, Caldwell D, Curran I, Lefebvre DE. Immunomodulation by gastrointestinal carbon black nanoparticle exposure in ovalbumin T cell receptor transgenic mice. Nanotoxicology. 2016 Dec; 10(10): 1422-1430.

Lefebvre DE, Venema K, Gombau L, Valerio LG, Raju J, Bondy GS, Bouwmeester H, Singh RP, Clippinger A, Collnot EM, Mehta R, Stone V. Utility of models of the gastrointestinal tract for assessment of the digestion and absorption of engineered nanomaterials released from food matrices. Nanotoxicology. 2015 May; 9(4): 523-42.

Bellmann S, Carlander D, Fasano A, Momcilovic D, Scimeca JA, Waldman J, Gombau L, Tsytsikova L, Canady R, Pereira D, Lefebvre DE. Mammalian gastrointestinal tract parameters modulating the integrity, surface properties and absorption of food relevant nanomaterials. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Nanomed Nanobiotechnol. 2015 Sep; 7(5): 609-22.

Lefebvre DE, Pearce B, Fine JH, Chomyshyn E, Ross N, Halappanavar S, Tayabali AF, Curran I, Bondy GS. In vitro enhancement of mouse T helper 2 cell sensitization to ovalbumin allergen by carbon black nanoparticles. Toxicological Sciences. 2014 Apr;138(2):322-32.

Mojibian M, Chakir H, Lefebvre DE, Crookshank JA, Sonier B, Keely E, Scott FW. Diabetes-specific HLA-DR-restricted proinflammatory T-cell response to wheat polypeptides in tissue transglutaminase antibody-negative patients with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes. 2009;58:1789.

Lefebvre DE, Curran I, Armstrong C, Coady L, Parenteau M, Liston V, Barker M, Aziz S, Rutherford K, Bellon-Gagnon P, Shenton J, Mehta R, Bondy G. Immunomodulatory effects of dietary potassium perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) exposure in adult Sprague-Dawley rats. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A: Current Issues. 2008;71:1516.

Lefebvre DE, Powell KL, Strom A, Scott FW. Dietary protein antigens as environmental modifiers of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Annual Review of Nutrition. 2006;26:175.

Chakir H, Lefebvre DE, Wang H, Caraher E, Scott FW. Wheat protein-induced pro-inflammatory T helper 1 bias in mesenteric lymph nodes of young diabetes-prone rats. Diabetologia. 2005;48:1576.

Chakir H, Wang H, Lefebvre DE, Webb J, Scott FW. T-bet/GATA-3 ratio as a measure of the Th1/Th2 cytokine profile in mixed cell populations: predominant role of GATA-3. Journal of Immunological Methods. 2003;278:157.