Dr. Christopher P. Garnham

Image Christopher Garnham
Research Scientist


Structural Biology

Protein Engineering

Current research and/or projects

  • Mechanistic dissection of mycotoxin synthesis and detoxification in pathogenic filamentous fungi

  • Development of novel subunit-based vaccines to reduce economic losses associated with viral diseases of Canadian livestock

Research and/or project statements

Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by several species of filamentous fungi that infect Canadian crops. Ingestion of mycotoxin-laden food and feed is detrimental to the health of the consumer. My lab seeks to develop novel enzymatic tools capable of mitigating mycotoxin contamination of Canadian agri-food and agri-feed. In particular, we are interested in the enzymatic biotransformation of mycotoxins into non-toxic versions that are safe for consumption.   

Education and awards

Education and Training

20011-2016     Post-Doctoral Fellow (Mentor:  Dr. Antonina Roll-Mecak) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD

2005-2011       Ph.D., Biochemistry (Mentor:  Dr. Peter L. Davies), Queen's University, Kingston, ON

2000-2004       B.Sc.H, Biochemistry, Queen's University, Kingston, ON


Scholarships and Fellowships

2013-2016      NINDS Intramural Competitive Postdoctoral Fellowship         

2013-2015      NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (declined)

2010-2011       R.S. McLaughlin Fellowship

2010                Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Summer Fellowship

2010                Graduate Dean's Doctoral Field Travel Grant

2007-2010      NSERC PGS D3 Scholarship

2007                Tri-Council Recipient Recognition Award

2005-2007      Queen's Graduate Award



2015                1st place, poster competition, 2nd annual NINDS intramural retreat

2011                Ph.D. thesis nominated for Governor General’s Gold Medal Award

2011                1st place, Canada Research Chairs writing competition, Queen’s University

2011                Linkam poster award (1st international ice-binding protein conference)

2010                Dean's Award for Excellence in Research (Health Sciences Research Trainees Day Poster Award, Queen’s University)

Key publications

For a complete list of publications, please visit: AAFC Online

Garnham CP, Yu I, Li Y, Roll-Mecak A. (2017) Crystal structure of tubulin tyrosine ligase-like 3 reveals essential architectural elements unique to tubulin monoglycylases. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 114(25):6545-6550.

Garnham CP, Vemu A, Wilson-Kubalek EM, Yu I, Szyk A, Lander GC, Milligan RA, and Roll-Mecak A. (2015) Multivalent Microtubule recognition by tubulin tyrosine ligase-like family glutamylases.  Cell. 161(5):1112-23.

Yu I, Garnham CP, and Roll-Mecak A. (2015) Writing and Reading the Tubulin Code.  J. Biol. Chem.  290(28):17163-72.

Vemu A, Garnham CP, Lee DY, Roll-Mecak A.  (2014) Generation of differentially modified microtubules using in vitro enzymatic approaches.  Meth. Enzymol.  540:149-66.

Basu K, Garnham CP, Nishimiya Y, Tsuda S, Braslavsky I, Davies PL.  (2014) Determining the ice-binding planes of antifreeze proteins by fluorescence-based ice plane affinity.  J. Vis. Exp. Jan 15(83):e51185.

Guo S, Garnham CP, Karunan Partha S, Campbell RL, Allingham JS, Davies PL.  (2013) Role of Ca²⁺ in folding the tandem β-sandwich extender domains of a bacterial ice-binding adhesin.  FEBS J. 280(22):5919-32.

Liu Y, Garnham CP, Roll-Mecak A, and Tanner ME.  (2013) Phosphinic Acid-Based Inhibitors of Tubulin Polyglutamylases.  Bioorg. & Med. Chem. Letters.  23(15):4408-12.  

Guo S, Garnham CP, Whitney J, Graham L, and Davies PL.  (2012) Re-evaluation of a bacterial antifreeze protein as an adhesin with ice-binding activity.  PLOS ONE.  7(11):e48805

Garnham CP, Nishimiya Y, Tsuda S, and Davies PL.  (2012) Engineering a naturally inactive isoform of type III antifreeze protein into one that can stop the growth of ice.  FEBS letters.  586(21):3876-81

Kondo H, Hanada Y, Sugimoto H, Hoshino T, Garnham CP, Davies PL, and Tsuda S.  (2012) Ice-binding site of snow mold fungus antifreeze protein deviates from structural regularity and high conservation. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109(24):9360-65.

Garnham CP, Roll-Mecak A.  (2012) The chemical complexity of cellular microtubules: Tubulin post-translational modification enzymes and their roles in tuning microtubule functions.  Cytoskeleton. 69(7):442-463.

Garnham CP, Campbell RL, Walker VK, and Davies PL.  (2011) Novel dimeric β-helical model of an ice nucleation protein with bridged active sites.  BMC Structural Biology.  11(1):36.

Garnham CP, Campbell RL, and Davies PL.  (2011) Anchored Clathrate Waters Bind Antifreeze Proteins to Ice. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 108(18):7363-67.

Garnham CP, Natarajan A, Middleton AJ, Kuiper MJ, Braslavsky I, Davies PL.  (2010) Compound ice-binding site of an antifreeze protein revealed by mutagenesis and fluorescent tagging.  Biochemistry.  49(42):9063-71.

Garnham CP, Hanna RA, Chou JS, Low KE, Gourlay K, Campbell RL, Beckmann JS, Davies PL. (2009) Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A can result from accelerated autoproteolytic inactivation of calpain 3.  Biochemistry. 48(15):3457-67.

Garnham CP, Gilbert JA, Hartman CP, Campbell RL, Laybourn-Parry J, Davies PL.  (2008) A Ca2+-dependent bacterial antifreeze protein domain has a novel beta-helical ice-binding fold.  Biochem J. 411(1):171-80.

Scotter AJ, Marshall CB, Graham LA, Gilbert JA, Garnham CP, Davies PL.  (2006) The basis for hyperactivity of antifreeze proteins.  Cryobiology.  53(2):229-239.

Fu Q, Garnham CP, Elliott ST, Bovenkamp DE, Van Eyk JE.  (2005) A robust, streamlined, and reproducible method for proteomic analysis of serum by delipidation, albumin and IgG depletion, and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis.  Proteomics.  5(10):2656-64.

Graham DR, Garnham CP, Fu Q, Robbins J, Van Eyk JE.  (2005) Improvements in two-dimensional gel electrophoresis by utilizing a low cost "in-house" neutral pH sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis system.  Proteomics.  5(9):2309-14.

Elliott ST, Crider DG, Garnham CP, Boheler KR, Van Eyk JE.  (2004) Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis database of murine R1 embryonic stem cells.  Proteomics.  4(12):3813-32

Research facility

1391 Sandford Street
London, ON N5V 4T3


Adjunct Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Western University