University of Saskatchewan

Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary Microbiology

Graduate Students

Asavajaru, Akarin


Bachand, Nicholas, Epidemiology and Microbiology

Research Interests:  The aim of the research project is to evaluate the risk of Toxoplasmosis through the consumption of infected wildlife in the Canadian Arctic using a One-Health approach.


Banerjee, Arinjay

Research Interests:

For my Master's project I characterized the Large T antigen of the Myotis polyomavirus.  Similar proteins in other polyomaviruses play a critical role in virus replication and immune evasion.  For my PhD project I will characterize the antiviral responses of the little brown bat and how they are deployed against the Myotis polyoma and coronaviruses.  I will then compare these findings with how human cells respond to the same viruses.  It would be interesting to see if the degree of innate immune response varies between bats and other mammals.  If it does, it would explain how bats maintain deadly viruses such as SARS and Ebola without being killed, whereas other mammals (non-human primates and humans) succumb to such viruses.


Bouchard, Emilie, Parasitology


Costa de Freitas, Aline, Microbiology

Research Interests:  The complex microbial community present in the female lower genital tract is an important factor in women's reproductive health.  Imbalances in this microbiota can lead to increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, bacterial vaginoisis, and negative outcomes such a preterm birth.  However, our understanding of the causes of such variations is limited and the vaginal microbiota remains poorly characterized.

My research project is focused on determining if characteristic vaginal microbiome profiles are associated with pregnant women at low and high risk for preterm birth.  The vaginal microbiota of pregnant women will be characterized using a combination of conventional microbiology and culture independent methods involving high throughput pryosequencing.  Our goal is a better understanding of the relationship of the vaginal microbiome to women's health in pregnancy.


Courtice, Rachel, Bacteriology


Darbellay, Joseph

Research Interests:  I am interested in studying the immune response in pig dendritic cells to the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus.  I will determine the effects that variation in specific viral genes have on the immune response to PRRSV.  Further elucidating the roles of the genes, in addition to studying the overall pathogenesis, will aid in the development of a vaccine candidate.




Gamage, Ruwini Dharmasiri, Bacteriology

Research Interests: At present there is no standardized methods for conducting or interpreting antimicrobial susceptibility tests on Brachyspira.  Therefore, the main obejctive of this study is to develop, standardize and implement antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods for Brachyspira spp. to improve the ability of the Canadian swine industry to combat Brachyspira-associated disease by providing evidence-based treatment recommendations.


Ghosh, Kazal Krishna, Bacteriology

Research Interests:  My research will focus on investigation of antimicrobial resistant E.coli from chickens.  We will determine the extended spectrum beta lactamases partciularly CTX-M enzymes.


Hamonic, Glenn

Research Interests:  The immune response in the genital track infection of pigs with Chlamydia trachomatis and the establishment of pigs as a model for the development of potential vaccine candidates.


Johnson, Lisa


Khan, Salahuddin


Lacoste, Stacey, Immunology


Lu, Yao


Maina, Teresia


Morrison, Beverly, Bacteriology


Ihedioha, Olivia


Park, Hong-su, Molecular Virology

Research Interests:


Pastl, Kimberley, Bacteriology/Immunology

Research Interests: Histophilus Somni is an important member of the bovine respiratory disease complex. The vaccines currently in use are killed whole cell bacterins based on strains isolated decades ago, with one vaccine including antigens such as the iron-regulated outer membrane proteins. These proteins are secreted through the TonB-dependent transport system, which are common in Gram-negative organisms, and have been shown to be protective antigens in other species. I hypothesize that vaccination with TonB-dependent proteins produced by H. somni will be protective against experimental infection if a vaccine formula capable of inducing cellular immunity is used.


Patterson, Mo


Perez, Jason Byron

Research Interests: Attenuation of Brachyspira


Priyantha, Roshan

Research Interests:  My research will focus on Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Pseudintermedius.  The study consists of isolation, identification, antibiotic resistant gene identification of associated virulence gene of MRSP from different clinical isolates.


Sachdeva, Rohini, Molecular Virology

Research Interests:  The role of neutralizing antibodies in PRRSV infection


Sharma, Rajnish

Research Interests: Characterization of Trichinella and Toxoplasma in wildlife and domestic animals.


Subudhi, Sonu, Virology

Research Interests:  I am focussing my reasearch on the translocation of Rocky Mountain Bat Coronavirus E protein.  I also want to see the innate immune response towards the Coronavirus E protein.


Wang, Fangzheng

Research Interests:  Virulence determinants of influenza virus


Wellawa, Dinesh

Research Interests:  Monitoring colonization and infection properties of Salmonella enterica serovar enteritidis, carrying a reporter gene, in a live chicken model.  Challenge is to construct the reporter strain with bioluminescence.


Wittrock, Julie, Wildlife Epidemiology

Research Interests:

Adapting a cumulative effects approach for evaluating wildlife health and investigating the feasibility of its practical application.


Woldemariam, Tekeleselassie

Research Interests:  My research focuses on assessing the effect of Bovine Adenovirus-3 on ribosome biogenesis.  In cells of Bovine origin, infected with the virus, cellular ribosome biogenesis will be examined using various experimental approaches.  In addition, the role of viral proteins in the cellular ribosome biogenesis will be examined.


Wu, Qi,

Research Interests: My main project is molecular pathogenesis of HBV HCV co-infection.  Because these two viruses have the same modes of transmission, HBV HCV co-infection is found in approximately 7 - 20 million people globally.  This research will make a significant contribution to prevent the high risk of development of HCC in HBC HCV co-infection patients.