• Portrait of Deanna Santer
  • Assistant professor 

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    429 Apotex Centre - 750 McDermot Avenue
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0T5

    Phone: 204-789-3583


Research achievements

Research summary

Interferons (IFNs) serve as the backbone of the innate antiviral immune response that directly inhibit virus replication and spread. While type I IFNs were discovered over 60 years ago, type III IFNs and their unique heterodimeric receptor (IFN-LR1/IL-10RB) were discovered in 2003, meaning there is much to discover about their biology and mechanisms of immunoregulation. Dr. Santer's research program focuses on IFN biology and how type I versus type III IFNs regulate human immune cell responses against viruses or after vaccination. This includes type III IFN treatment of COVID-19 patients with our collaborators at the University of Alberta and University Health Network.

Research themes

  • Infectious diseases
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Immune cell biology


  • Human immunology
  • Antiviral immunity
  • Interferons
  • Immune regulation

Research affiliations

  • GSK Endowed Research Chair in Immunobiology of Infectious Diseases
  • Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)

Research groups

  • Canadian Society for Immunology
  • Canadian Society for Virology
  • International Cytokine & Interferon Society



Dr. Deanna Santer is an assistant professor in immunology at the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba and GSK Research Chair in immunobiology of infectious diseases.

Dr. Santer completed her B.Sc. (honours) in immunology and infection at the University of Alberta and her PhD in Immunology at the University of Washington under the supervision of Dr. Keith Elkon. For her postdoctoral work, she came back to Canada to work in the lab of nobel laureate Dr. Michael Houghton at the University of Alberta where her projects included working with various viruses, before developing her own research program studying the newest family of IFNs, IFN-lambdas.

Outside of the lab, Dr. Santer has been actively involved in promoting women in STEM having volunteered for many years with WISEST as a mentor for high school and elementary girls (at UAlberta), and she looks forward to joining efforts at UManitoba through WISDOM.


Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Alberta (2017)

Doctor of Philosophy in Immunology, University of Washington (2010)

Bachelor of Science with Honors in Immunology and Infection, University of Alberta (2005)


CIHR operating grant (Emerging COVID-19 Research Gaps and Priorities), “Peginterferon lambda to treat outpatients with COVID-19 to prevent severe disease: Focus on variants of concern” 2021-2022 (co-investigator)

CIHR operating grant (COVID-19 Rapid Research), “Characterization of interferon-lambda 1 as a treatment for COVID-19” 2020-2021 (co-investigator)

CIHR postdoctoral fellowship 2012-2017 (extended due to parental leave)

Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions Postdoctoral Fellowship 2011-2014

NSERC postgraduate scholarship 2005-2009

Exceptional student award (CYTO 2010 conference)

Ray Owen Young Investigator Award for outstanding graduate student poster presentation (Midwinter Conference of Immunologists 2010)

Dr. Deanna Santer In the news

Contact us

Max Rady College of Medicine
Apotex Centre
Room 471, 750 McDermot Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0T5 Canada