Rima Menassa Ph.D.

Image Rima Menassa
Research Scientist

Current research and/or projects

Mitigate development and Transmission of AMR across the farm to fork to clinic continuum (interdepartmental GRDI) (2022-2026)

Mitigating AMR (AAFC-GRDI) (2018-2024)

Development of an oral intervention method to eliminate shedding of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 by pigs. (Collaboration with PlantForm Corp.) (2020-2023)


Research and/or project statements

Plants as bioreactors for the production of veterinary vaccines and antibodies as alternatives to antibiotics

Transforming the chloroplast genome for the production of veterinary vaccines

Education and awards

  • PhD. in Molecular Genetics, McGill University
  • M.Sc. in Plant Pathology, American University of Beirut
  • B.Sc. in Agriculture, American University of Beirut

Key publications

  1. Baschieri, S., Menassa, R., Klement, E., Donini, M. (2022). Editorial: Plant-Production Platforms for Veterinary Biopharmaceuticals. Frontiers in Plant Science, [online] 13 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2022.858043

    2022 - View publication details

  2. Kaplanoglu, E. , Kolotilin, I. , Menassa, R. , Donly, C. Transplastomic Tomato Plants Expressing Insect-Specific Double-Stranded RNAs: A Protocol Based on Biolistic Transformation. Methods in Molecular Biology. Volume 2360, Pages 235 - 252 (2022).

    2021 - View publication details

  3. Scott, I.M., Zhu, H., Schieck, K., Follick, A., Reynolds, L.B., Menassa, R. (2019). Non-target effects of hyperthermostable α-amylase transgenic Nicotiana tabacum in the laboratory and the field. Frontiers in Plant Science, [online] 10 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00878

    2019 - View publication details

  4. Tran, H.H., Chen, B., Chen, H., Menassa, R., Hao, X., Bernards, M., Hüner, N.P.A., Wang, A. (2019). Development of a cucumber green mottle mosaic virus-based expression vector for the production in cucumber of neutralizing epitopes against a devastating animal virus. Journal of Virological Methods, [online] 269 18-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jviromet.2019.04.006

    2019 - View publication details

  5. Burke, W.G., Kaplanoglu, E., Kolotilin, I., Menassa, R., Donly, C. (2019). RNA interference in the tobacco hornworm, manduca sexta, using plastid-encoded long double-stranded RNA. Frontiers in Plant Science, [online] 10 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00313

    2019 - View publication details

  6. Donly, C., Kaplanoglu, E., Ludba, K.K., Kolotilin, I., Menassa, R., and Scott, I.M. (2018) Effects of RNA interference on greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum). Insect Biotech Conference, St. Catharines, Ontario.

    2018 - View publication details

  7. Feeney, M., Kittelmann, M., Menassa, R., Hawes, C., Frigerio, L. (2018). Protein storage vacuoles originate from remodeled preexisting vacuoles in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiology, [online] 177(1), 241-254. http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.18.00010

    2018 - View publication details

  8. Ceballo, Y., Tiel, K., López, A., Cabrera, G., Pérez, M., Ramos, O., Rosabal, Y., Montero, C., Menassa, R., Depicker, A., Hernández, A. (2017). High accumulation in tobacco seeds of hemagglutinin antigen from avian (H5N1) influenza. Transgenic Research, [online] 26(6), 775-789. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11248-017-0047-9

    2017 - View publication details

  9. Miletic, S., Hünerberg, M., Kaldis, A., MacDonald, J., Leuthreau, A., McAllister, T., Menassa, R. (2017). A Plant-Produced Candidate Subunit Vaccine Reduces Shedding of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli in Ruminants. Biotechnology Journal, [online] 12(10), http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/biot.201700405

    2017 - View publication details

  10. Reuter, L.J., Shahbazi, M.A., Mäkilä, E.M., Salonen, J.J., Saberianfar, R., Menassa, R., Santos, H.A., Joensuu, J.J., Ritala, A. (2017). Coating Nanoparticles with Plant-Produced Transferrin-Hydrophobin Fusion Protein Enhances Their Uptake in Cancer Cells. bioconjugate chemistry, [online] 28(6), 1639-1648. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00075

    2017 - View publication details

  11. Donly, C., Kaplanoglu, E., Ludba, K., Kolotilin, I., Menassa, R., Scott, I. (2017) Insecticidal trap plants incorporating RNA interference technology. Insect Biotech Conference, St. Catharines, Ontario. 14-16 June 2017, oral presentation.

    2017 - View publication details

  12. Saberianfar, R. and Menassa, R. (2017) Protein bodies: how the ER deals with high accumulation of recombinant proteins. Plant Biotechnol J 15, 671-673.

    2017 - View publication details

  13. MacDonald, J., Miletic, S., Gaildry, T., Chin-Fatt, A., Menassa, R. (2017). Co-expression with the type 3 secretion chaperone CesT from enterohemorrhagic E. coli increases accumulation of recombinant Tir in plant chloroplasts. Frontiers in Plant Science, [online] 8 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.00283

    2017 - View publication details

  14. Arthur, L.L., Chung, J.J., Jankirama, P., Keefer, K.M., Kolotilin, I., Pavlovic-Djuranovic, S., Chalker, D.L., Grbic, V., Green, R., Menassa, R., True, H.L., Skeath, J.B., Djuranovic, S. (2017). Rapid generation of hypomorphic mutations. Nature Communications, [online] 8 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14112

    2017 - View publication details

  15. Zhu, H., Reynolds, L.B., Menassa, R. (2017). A hyper-thermostable α-amylase from Pyrococcus furiosus accumulates in Nicotiana tabacum as functional aggregates. BMC Biotechnology, [online] 17(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12896-017-0372-3

    2017 - View publication details

  16. Topp, E., Irwin, R., McAllister, T.A., Lessard, M., Joensuu, J.J., Kolotilin, I., Conrad, U., Stöger, E., Mor, T., Warzecha, H., Hall, J.C., McLean, M.D, Cox, E., Devriendt, B., Potter, A., Depicker, A., Virdi, V., Holbrook, L., Doshi, K., Dussault, M., Friendship, R.M., Yarosh, O., Yoo, H.S., MacDonald, J.D., and Menassa, R. (2016). "The case for plant-made veterinary immunotherapeutics.", Biotechnology Advances. doi : 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2016.02.007

    2016 - View publication details

  17. Miletic, S., Simpson, D.J., Szymanski, C.M., Deyholos, M.K., Menassa, R. (2016). A plant-produced bacteriophage tailspike protein for the control of Salmonella. Frontiers in Plant Science, [online] 6(JAN2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2015.01221

    2016 - View publication details

  18. Menassa, R. (2015). "Protein body biogenesis and utility in recombinant protein production in Nicotiana benthamiana.", Recombinant Protein Production 8, Palma, Mallorca, Spain, April 22-24, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  19. Kolotilin, I., Topp, E., Cox, E., Devriendt, B., Conrad, U., Joensuu, J.J., Stöger, E., Warzecha, H., McAllister, T.A., McLean, M.D, Hall, J.C., and Menassa, R. (2015). "Plant-based solutions for veterinary immunotherapeutics and prophylactics.", BMC Veterinary Research, 45(1), pp. 375. (Abstract)

    2015 - View publication details

  20. Menassa, R. (2015). "Producing veterinary vaccines for bacterial diseases in transplastomic plants.", 2015 Chloroplast Biotechnology Gordon Research Conference, Ventura Beach, California, USA.

    2015 - View publication details

Research facility

1391 Sandford Street
London, ON N5V 4T3


Communication officer - International Society for Plant Molecular Farming

Past-President - Canadian Association for Plant Biotechnology

Secretary - Plant Canada

Adjunct professor, Department of Biology, Western University, London, Ontario

Associate editor, Frontiers in Plant Science