Nathalie Bissonnette, PhD.

Image Nathalie Bissonnette
Research Scientist, animal genomics

Helping to advance animal health research and encourage natural resistance to disease using an integrated approach in animal genomics.

Current research and/or projects

Dr Nathalie Bissonnette focuses her research activities on animal immunogenetics, immunotolerance and immunoregulation in response to nutrients, the environment and contacts with pathogens. This includes identifying genetic and epigenetic markers and environmental factors that influence the immune system. Her research helps formulate nutritional interventions that support natural resistance to disease. She uses advanced sequencing technologies and next‑generation genotyping to identify genetic and epigenetic markers, gene expression profiles (transcriptome) and network regulators (IncRNAs, microRNAs) that govern resistance or sensitivity to disease, particularly to bovine paratuberculosis.

Dr Nathalie Bissonnette joined Agriculture and Agri‑Food Canada’s Sherbrooke Research and Development Centre in 2001. She has used her expertise in molecular biology and animal genomics in numerous projects, primarily relating to pigs and dairy cows. Her work targets the following sector goals: (1) eliminating threats in the agriculture and agri-food value chain; (2) supporting a healthy agricultural sector.

Research and/or project statements

Uncovering susceptibility to paratuberculosis by studying the host’s genetics and the dynamics of the infection of strains with varied genetics (mixed genotype infection) to understand susceptibility to and disease progression – Growing Forward 3 (AAFC), Dairy cluster

Animal genomics for resistance to paratuberculosis – Project targeted by AAFC

Developing innovative strategies and analytical tools to identify cows affected by paratuberculosis, that is, infected by the mycobacterium avium ssp paratuberculosis – AAFC A‑Base

Neonatal nutritional interventions using bovine colostrum and/or vitamin D and copper (Cu) and their programming effects on the oxidative status, the maturing of the immune system and the development of intestinal microbial populations among piglets – Growing Forward II (AAFC), Swine cluster II

Understanding intestinal microbiota and immune responses of the host to probiotics and colostrum to improve the intestinal health of pigs – AAFC A‑Base

Developing food technologies and strategies to improve intestinal health and limit the use of antibiotics in monogastric animal production – Growing Forward III (AAFC), Swine cluster II

Molecular and biochemical characterization of the osteopontin bioactive molecule that is secreted in cow’s milk: Functional activities of genetic variants and isoforms – AAFC A‑Base

Professional activities / interests

  • Member: GRESABO (research group on bovine health)
  • Member: International Association for Paratuberculosis
  • Member: Op+lait, research group on milk quality; FQRNT strategic group program
  • Member: Dairy Cattle Breeding and Genetics Committee, Canada
  • Member: Institutional Animal Care Committee
  • Editorial board member: the journal Gene
  • Member: Canadian Society of Animal Science
  • Member: American Dairy Science Association

         Interests: nutritional intervention, epigenetics, immunotolerance, immunization

Education and awards

Education:

Post-doc Agriculture et Agriculture Canada (1999-2000)

PhD/MSc. Radiobiologie/Oncologie (Université de Sherbrooke) 1998

Bacc Biotechnologie (Université de Sherbrooke) 1994

 

Recognition awards:

(1) Distinction: Merit list of the dean of the faculty of medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, 1997–1998; (2) Gordon Fisher award (1997), faculty of medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, for research excellence; (3) Jean-Pierre Caillé award (1997) given by the Université de Sherbrooke medical research council, awarded during Science Day; (4) Distinction: Merit list  of the dean of the faculty of medicine, Université de Sherbrooke, 1991–1992, scholarship; (5) FCAR (funds for researcher training and research assistance), 1991–1992; (6) Scholarship for the Master of Science, Université de Sherbrooke, 1990–1991; (7) Scholarship for the health sciences research program 1989–1990, granted by the faculty of medicine, Université de Sherbrooke; (8) Scholarship awarded by the Université de Sherbrooke medical research centre (CRMUS), summer 1989; (9) Distinction awarded during the symposium in Ottawa, Canada, organized by the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Canada (PMAC), November 1989; (10) Award from the PMAC foundation, Scholarship for the Bachelor of Science, 1989.

International experience and/or work

Epidemiologic typing of strains of the mycobacterium avium ssp paratuberculosis (MAP) in collaboration with the animal mycobacterial infections team at INRA, France (http://mac-inmv.tours.inra.fr), to document the genetic diversity of MAP infections in North America.  

Guest researcher (1994–1995), Université Pasteur (France), at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Key publications

  1. Do, D.N., Bissonnette, N., Lacasse, P., Miglior, F., Sargolzaei, M., Zhao, X., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2016). "Genome wide association analysis and pathways enrichment for lactation persistency in Canadian Holstein cattle.", Journal of Animal Science, 94(Supp. 2). (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  2. Talbot, G., Lessard, M., Yergeau, E., Gagnon, N., Lo Verso, L., Lapointe, J., Bissonnette, N., Bueno Dalto, D., Ouattara, B., Guay, F., and Matte, J.J. (2016). "Effects of different sources and routes of administration of copper and vitamins A and D on piglets gut microbiota.", Journal of Animal Science, 94(Supp. 2). (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  3. Matte, J.J., Audet, I., Ouattara, B., Bissonnette, N., and Lessard, M. (2016). "Sources and routes of administration of copper and vitamins A and D on metabolic status of these micronutrients in suckling piglets.", Journal of Animal Science, 94(Supp. 2), pp. 116. (Abstract)

    2016 - View publication details

  4. Fock-Chow-Tho, D. E. Topp, E. Ibeagha-Awemu, and N. Bissonnette. Comparison of commercial DNA extraction and QPCR systems for a better sensitivity in detecting the causative paratuberculosis pathogen in dairy cow fecal samples. International Congress on Paratuberculosis, Nantes, France, June 19-24th.

    2016 - View publication details

  5. Ariel, O. Ibeagha-Awemu, N. Gévry, and N. Bissonnette. Johnes disease bovine monocyte-derived macrophages are insensitive to ex vivo infection by Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis. 2016 13th International Colloquium on Paratuberculosis, Nantes, France, June 19-24th.

    2016 - View publication details

  6. Arango-Sabogal et al. 2016. Detection of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in tie-stall dairy herds using a standardized environmental sampling technique and targeted pooled samples. Can J Vet Res 80(3):175-182.

    2016 - View publication details

  7. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Li, R., Ammah, A.A., Dudemaine, P.L., Bissonnette, N., Benchaar, C., Zhao, X. (2016). Transcriptome adaptation of the bovine mammary gland to diets rich in unsaturated fatty acids shows greater impact of linseed oil over safflower oil on gene expression and metabolic pathways, 17(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-2423-x

    2016 - View publication details

  8. Ariel, O., Gevry, N.Y., Fecteau, G., Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Karrow, N.A., and Bissonnette, N. (2015). "Bovine paratuberculosis monocyte-derived macrophages are insensitive to ex vivo MAP infection.", 65th Annual Canadian Society of Microbiologists Annual Conference, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, June 15-18, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  9. Ariel, N., Gévry, G., Fecteau, G., Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Karrow, N.A., and Bissonnette, N. (2015). "Genetic association of Johne's disease susceptible cows through transcriptome profiling of MAP infected macrophages.", 2015 Conference of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and the Canadian Meat Council, Ottawa, Canada, May 6-8, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  10. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Li, R., Ammah, A.A., Bissonnette, N., Benchaar, C., and Zhao, X. (2015). "Transcriptome adaptation of the bovine mammary gland to a diet supplemented with linseed oil.", Journal of Animal Science, 93(Suppl. S3), pp. 410. (Abstract)

    2015 - View publication details

  11. Bissonnette, N., Jiang, X-R., Matte, J.J., Talbot, G., Guay, F., Gong, J., Wang, Q., Bontempo, V., and Lessard, M. (2015). "Effect of a post-weanling diet supplemented with gut health-enhancing feed additives on ileum transcriptome activity and serum cytokines in piglets challenged with lipopolysaccharides (LPS).", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 98(Suppl. 2), pp. 659. (Abstract)

    2015 - View publication details

  12. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Li, R., Dudemaine, P.-L., Ammah, A.A., Bissonnette, N., Benchaar, C., and Zhao, X. (2015). "Mammary gland transcriptome profiling of cows fed safflower oil reveals a potential modulatory role for SREBP1 in fatty acid synthesis.", 2015 Conference of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and the Canadian Meat Council, Ottawa, Canada, May 6-8, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  13. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Li, R., Ammah, A.A., Bissonnette, N., Benchaar, C., and Zhao, X. (2015). "Transcriptome adaptation of the bovine mammary gland to a diet supplemented with linseed oil.", ADSA-ASAS 2015 JAM (Joint Annual Meeting), Orlando, Florida, USA, July 12-16, 2015, Invited to present at the ASAS Presidents' Picks Poster Session at JAM 2015. (Poster)

    2015 - View publication details

  14. Bissonnette, N., Jiang, X-R., Matte, J.J., Talbot, G., Guay, F., Gong, J., Wang, Q., Bontempo, V., and Lessard, M. (2015). "Effect of a post-weanling diet supplemented with gut health-enhancing feed additives on ileum transcriptome activity and serum cytokines in piglets challenged with lipopolysaccharides (LPS)", ADSA-ASAS JAM (Joint Annual Meeting) 2015, Orlando, Florida, USA, July 12-16, 2015, 2-15, Poster Session.

    2015 - View publication details

  15. Ammah, A.A., Beaudoin, F., Marier, L., Benchaar, C., Bissonnette, N., Gévry, G., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2015). "Effects of dietary supplementation with safflower oil on milk components and fat acid composition of Canadian Holstein cows.", 2015 Conference of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and the Canadian Meat Council, Ottawa, Canada, May 6-8, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  16. Fomenky, B., Beaudoin, F., Chiquette, J., Talbot, G., Bissonnette, N., Chouinard, P.Y., Lessard, M., and Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M. (2015). "Amélioration du développement immunitaire chez les veaux laitiers par les probiotiques.", Symposium sur les bovins laitiers 2015, Drummondville, QC, Canada, Octobre 29, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  17. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Beaudoin, F., Chiquette, J., Talbot, G., Bissonnette, N., and Lessard, M. (2015). "Probiotics administration enhances calves’ lymphoproliferation responses to vaccination during the early weeks of growth.", 2015 Conference of the Canadian Society of Animal Science and the Canadian Meat Council, Ottawa, Canada, May 6-8, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  18. Fock-Chow-Tho, D., Topp, E., and Bissonnette, N. (2015). "Comparison of commercial DNA extraction and detection kits for a better sensitivity in detecting the causative paratuberculosis pathogen in dairy cow fecal samples.", 65th Annual Canadian Society of Microbiologists Annual Conference, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, June 15-18, 2015. (Poster)

    2015 - View publication details

  19. Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Dudemaine, P.-L., Chiquette, J., Talbot, G., and Bissonnette, N. (2015). "Involvement of microRNAs in calves’ intestinal growth and development and probable modulatory role of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.", Symposium on Gut Health in Production of Food Animals, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, November 9-11, 2015. (Poster)

    2015 - View publication details

  20. Constant, E., Ibeagha-Awemu, E.M., Miglior, F., Robitaille, G., and Bissonnette, N. (2015). "Improving the genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach for the identification of SNPs associated with Johne’s disease.", ADSA-ASAS JAM (Joint Annual Meeting) 2015, Orlando, Florida, USA, July 12-16, 2015, 2-15, Poster Session, pp. 651-652.

    2015 - View publication details

Research facility

2000 College Street
Sherbrooke, QC J1M 1Z3
Canada

Affiliations

Adjunct professor, Université de Sherbrooke

Language

French

Other languages

Anglais