Rima Menassa Ph.D.

Image Rima Menassa
Research Scientist

Current research and/or projects

Technology development of alternatives to subtherapeutic and metaphylactic antimicrobials used in the beef industry (2016-2019)

Innovative synthetic biology approach for the production of particulate subunit vaccines and antibodies to be used for oral immunization and protection of farm animals. (2018-2021)

Development of IPM tools using genomic and ecological approaches for the control of insect pests in greenhouses.(2016-2019)

RNAi trap plants for horticulture (2018-2021)

Research and/or project statements

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

Transforming the chloroplast genome of various plant species for the production of dsRNA for insect pest control, and 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. 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, 10 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00878

    2019 - View publication details

  2. 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, 269 18-25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jviromet.2019.04.006

    2019 - View publication details

  3. 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, 10 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00313

    2019 - View publication details

  4. 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, 26(6), 775-789. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11248-017-0047-9

    2017 - View publication details

  5. 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, 28(6), 1639-1648. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.bioconjchem.7b00075

    2017 - View publication details

  6. 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, 8 http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2017.00283

    2017 - View publication details

  7. 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, 8 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14112

    2017 - View publication details

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

    2017 - View publication details

  9. 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, 6(JAN2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2015.01221

    2016 - View publication details

  10. Duwadi, K., Chen, L., Menassa, R., Dhaubhadel, S. (2015). Identification, characterization and down-regulation of cysteine protease genes in tobacco for use in recombinant protein production, 10(7), http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0130556

    2015 - View publication details

  11. Saberianfar, R., Joensuu, J.J., Conley, A.J., Menassa, R. (2015). Protein body formation in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana: A concentration-dependent mechanism influenced by the presence of fusion tags, 13(7), 927-937. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12329

    2015 - View publication details

  12. Feeney, M., Frigerio, L., Kohalmi, S.E., Cui, Y., Menassa, R. (2013). Reprogramming cells to study vacuolar development, 4(DEC), http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2013.00493

    2013 - View publication details

  13. Feeney, M., Frigerio, L., Cui, Y., Menassa, R. (2013). Following vegetative to embryonic cellular changes in leaves of Arabidopsis overexpressing LEAFY COTYLEDON2, 162(4), 1881-1896. http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.113.220996

    2013 - View publication details

  14. Kaldis, A., Ahmad, A., Reid, A., Mcgarvey, B., Brandle, J., Ma, S., Jevnikar, A., Kohalmi, S.E., Menassa, R. (2013). High-level production of human interleukin-10 fusions in tobacco cell suspension cultures, 11(5), 535-545. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12041

    2013 - View publication details

  15. Chen, L., Dempsey, B.R., Gyenis, L., Menassa, R., Brandle, J.E., Dhaubhadel, S. (2013). Identification of the factors that control synthesis and accumulation of a therapeutic protein, human immune-regulatory interleukin-10, in Arabidopsis thaliana, 11(5), 546-554. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12042

    2013 - View publication details

  16. Kolotilin, I., Kaldis, A., Devriendt, B., Joensuu, J., Cox, E., Menassa, R. (2012). Production of a subunit vaccine candidate against porcine post-weaning diarrhea in high-biomass transplastomic tobacco, 7(8), http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0042405

    2012 - View publication details

  17. Bross, C.D., Corea, O.R.A., Kaldis, A., Menassa, R., Bernards, M.A., Kohalmi, S.E. (2011). Complementation of the pha2 yeast mutant suggests functional differences for arogenate dehydratases from Arabidopsis thaliana, 49(8), 882-890. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2011.02.010

    2011 - View publication details

  18. Conley, A.J., Zhu, H., Le, L.C., Jevnikar, A.M., Lee, B.H., Brandle, J.E., Menassa, R. (2011). Recombinant protein production in a variety of Nicotiana hosts: a comparative analysis, 9(4), 434-444. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7652.2010.00563.x

    2011 - View publication details

  19. Tremblay, R., Feng, M., Menassa, R., Huner, N.P.A., Jevnikar, A.M., Ma, S. (2011). High-yield expression of recombinant soybean agglutinin in plants using transient and stable systems, 20(2), 345-356. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11248-010-9419-0

    2011 - View publication details

  20. Li, X., Gao, P., Cui, D., Wu, L., Parkin, I., Saberianfar, R., Menassa, R., Pan, H., Westcott, N., Gruber, M.Y. (2011). The Arabidopsis tt19-4 mutant differentially accumulates proanthocyanidin and anthocyanin through a 3' amino acid substitution in glutathione S-transferase, 34(3), 374-388. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3040.2010.02249.x

    2011 - View publication details

Research facility

1391 Sandford Street
London, ON N5V 4T3


Member of the International Society for Plant Molecular Farming

Executive board member of the Canadian Association for Plant Biotechnology

Board of Directors for Plant Canada

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