Dr. Devon Radford, PhD

Image Devon Radford
Computational Biologist

Dr. Devon Radford is a Computational Biologist in Dr. Wen Chen's lab at the Ottawa Research & Development Centre (ORDC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). He specializes in Virology, Bioinformatics, Biodiversity and Environmental Health. His lab focuses on (meta)genomics-based phytomicrobiome research addressing questions on phytopathogen biovigilance, agroecosystem resilience, and environmental impacts.

Current research and/or projects

The lab utilizes and develops integrated omics and bioinformatics approaches to address questions on microbial biodiversity discovery, phytopathogen biovigilance, agroecosystem sustainability and resilience, as well as the environmental impacts of agricultural production.

Research and/or project statements

  • Agricultural microbiome research
  • Bioinformatics tools development
  • Genomics and metagenomics-driven food-borne and phytopathogen monitoring and modeling through agriculture and agri-food value chain
  • Harnessing phytomicrobiome for sustainable plant disease management
  • Harnessing virome and viral proteome for enhanced sustainable food-safety and food production
  • Metagenomics-based ecosystem biomonitoring

Professional activities / interests

  • The lab provides research opportunities for visiting fellows, Ph.D., M.Sc., and Honors students with a major in Biology, Bioinformatics/Computational Biology, Biostatistics, Molecular Biology, and/or related fields.

Education and awards

Ph.D. Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, ON, Canada (2010-2014), Thesis: “Understanding the Encapsulins: Prediction & Characterization of Phage Capsid-like Nanocompartments in Prokaryotes.” [defended Dec 12, 2014] (Strong focus on computational biology & bioinformatics)

M.Sc. Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, ON, Canada (2008-2010[transferred to PhD])

Honours B.Sc. Molecular Biology & Genetics, Minor: Computer & Information Systems, University of Guelph, ON, Canada (2004-2008)



NSERC Postdoctoral Visiting Fellowship in Canadian Government Laboratories, Agriculture & Agri- Food Canada, Guelph Research & Development Center (2014-17)

NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canadian Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Division (2011-14)

4 Ontario Graduate Scholarships (2011-12, 2010-11, 2009-10, 2008-09)

3 NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (2008, 2007, 2006)


International experience and/or work

  • AAFC - USDA: Collaboration on Genotyping and Monitoring of High-Risk Plant Pathogens
  • University of Guelph - AB Vista(postdoc): Collaboration on Ruminant Metagenomics Virology
  • University of Guelph - Novus International(postdoc): Collaboration on testing and validation of a novel anti-microbial for raw cat food
  • AAFC - ETH Zurich University(postdoc): Collaboration on applications of Listeria phage for food safety
  • AAFC - University of Guelph (postdoc): Collaboration on applications of viruses and viral proteins for control of food-borne pathogens, and multiomic studies on mechanisms of anti-microbial resistance
  • University of Toronto - University of California, Berkeley - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (PhD): Collaberative discovery and characterization of a novel family of prokaryotic nanocompartments involved in sulfur metabolism

Key publications

PhD Thesis:
Radford, D. (2014). Understanding the Encapsulins: Prediction & Characterization of Phage Capsid-like Nanocompartments in Prokaryotes. Advis. A.R. Davidson & J. Parkinson. Dept. of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada [defended Dec 12, 2014]

Book chapters:
Davidson, A., Cardarelli, L., Pell, L., Radford, D. & Maxwell, K. (2012). Tail machines of bacteriophages: Long non-contractile tails. In "Viral Molecular Machines." Advances in Experimental Medicine & Biology, 726:115-42. Eds. Rossmann, M.G. & Rao, V.B. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-0980-9_6.

Peer-reviewed journals:  
Nichols, R., LaFrance, B., Phillips, N., Radford, D., Oltrogge, L., Valentin-Alvarado, L., Bischoff, A., Nogales, E., & Savage, D. (2021) Discovery and characterization of a novel family of prokaryotic nanocompartments involved in sulfur metabolism. eLife 2021;10:e59288 doi: 10.7554/eLife.59288 .

Owens, T.G., King, B.A., Radford, D.R., Strange, P., Arvaj, L., Pezzali, J.G., Edwards, A.M., Ganesh, D., DeVries, T.J., McBride, B.W., Balamurugan, S., and Shoveller, A.K (2021). Use of 2-hydroxy-4- (methylthio)-butanoic acid (HMTBa) to inhibit Salmonella and Listeria in raw meat for feline diets and palatability in domestic cats. Journal of Animal Science. (In Review)

Chen, W., Radford, D., & Hambleton, S. (2021). Towards improved recovery efficiency and identification accuracy of rust fungal pathogens in environmental samples using metabarcoding approach. Phytopathology (In Press). Published Online:12 Aug 2021https://doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-01-21-0020-R

Shannon, R., Radford, D. & Balamurugan, S. (2019). Impacts of food matrix on bacteriophage and endolysin antimicrobial efficacy and performance. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 18:1-10.doi: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1584874

Radford, D., Hare, K., Penner, G. & Wood, K. (2018). PSXII-10 Providing excess metabolizable protein prior to calving shifts the protein composition of colostrum and early post-colostrum serum proteomic profiles in neonatal beef calves. J. Animal Science 96(suppl_3): 264, https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky404.579

Radford, D., Strange, P., Lepp, D., Hernandez, M., Rehman, A., Balamurugan, S. & Diarra, M. (2018). Genomic & Proteomic Analyses of Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Identifying Mechanisms of Induced de novo Tolerance to Ceftiofur. Frontiers in Microbiology 9: 2123.

Radford, D., Leon-Velarde, C.G., Chen, S., Oskouei, A. & Balamurugan, S. (2018). Draft genome sequences of two novel Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica strains isolated from low-moisture foods, with applications in food safety research. Genome Announcements. 6 (13): e00183-18

Ahmadi, H., Radford, D., Kropinski, A., Lim, L-T. & Balamurugan, S. (2017). Thermal-stability and reconstitution ability of Listeria phages P100 & A511. Front. Microb. Virology. 8:2375 doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.02375. Epub 2017 December 5.

Radford, D., Guild, B., Strange, P., Ahmed, R., Lim, L. & Balamurugan, S. (2017). Characterization of Antimicrobial Properties of Salmonella Phage Felix O1 & Listeria phage A511 Embedded in Xanthan Coatings on Poly(lactic acid) Films. Food Micro. 66:117-128. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2017.04.015. Epub 2017 May 3.

Radford, D., Ahmadi, H., Leon-Velarde, C. & Balamurugan, S. (2016). Propagation method for persistent high yield of diverse Listeria phages on permissive hosts at refrigeration temperatures. Res. Microbiol. 167(8):685-691. doi: 10.1016/j.resmic.2016.05.010.

Waller, A., Hug, L., Mo, K., Radford, D., Maxwell, K. & Edwards, E. (2012). Transcriptional analysis of a Dehalococcoides-containing microbial consortium reveals prophage activation. App. Env. Micro. 78(4): 1178-1186.

Mathur, J., Radhamony, R., Sinclair, A., Donoso, A., Dunn, N., Roach, E., Radford, D., Mohaghegh, S., Logan, D., Kokolic, K. & Mathur, N. (2010) mEosFP-based green-to-red photoconvertible subcellular probes for plants. Plant Phys. 154, 1573-1587.

Cardarelli, L., Lam, R., Tuite, A., Baker, L., Sadowski, P., Radford, D., Rubinstein, J., Chirgadze, N., Maxwell, K. & Davidson, A. (2009) The crystal structure of bacteriophage HK97 gp6: Defining a large family of head-tail connector proteins. J. Mol. Biol. 395, 754-768.

Odongo, N., Greenwood, S., Or-Rashid, M., Radford, D., AlZahal, O., Shoveller, A., Lindiger, M., Matthews, J. & McBride, B. (2009). Effects of nutritionally induced metabolic acidosis with or without glutamine infusion on acid-base balance, plasma amino acids & plasma non-esterified fatty acids in sheep. J. Anim. Sci. 87, 1077-1084.

Odongo, N., Greenwood, S., Or-Rashid, M., Radford, D., AlZahal, O., Shoveller, A., Lindiger, M., Matthews, J. & McBride, B. (2009). Impact of nutritionally induced metabolic acidosis and glutamine infusion on acid-base, plasma amino acid and plasma non-esterified fatty acids in sheep. Canadian J. Anim. Sci. 89 (1): 140.

Makhijani, R.M., Wight, C.A., Radford, D., Kajenthira, A., Papineau, E., Raizada, M.N. (2007). http://www.maizelink.org A searchable database linking maize experts from around the world. Maize Genetics Newsletter 81:2.

Standard Operating Procedures:
Radford, D. and Balamurugan, S. (2017). Isolation, expression and purification of bacteriophage endolysins for applications in food microbiology. Prepared for GRDC Biosafety Manual, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.