Jacob Thundathil


Associate Member

Cattle Health Research Group

Associate Member

Veterinary Education Research Group

Full Member

Reproduction and Regenerative Medicine Research Group

Associate Member

Clinical and Translational Research Group


University of Saskatchewan

Certificate of Qualification - National Examining Board

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association


Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala, India


Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala, India

Contact information


Office : HMRB410


Dr. Thundathil’s major contributions to the academic mission of UCVM are:

  1. Participation in teaching VETM 321 (Veterinary Physiology)
  2. Contributions to graduate student education: Dr. Thundathil supervised 4 postdoctoral trainees, 3 PhD students and 3 MSc students and currently supervises 1 PhD student. In addition, he serves on graduate committees of 2 graduate students.
  3. Development of graduate courses: Developed, coordinated, and participated in teaching VETM 701/MDSC 701 (Advanced Topics in Reproductive Health) and VETM 601 (Professional Skills in Health Science Research). 

Research and teaching

Research Interests

  • Reproductive Biology
  • Veterinary Medical Education
  • Wildlife and Zoo Medicine

Research / Scholarly Activities

Dr. Thundathil’s research is focused on regulation of sperm function and sperm contributions to embryo development at an interdisciplinary level. In addition, he is interested in developing reproductive technologies for preserving endangered wildlife and enhancing reproductive health at an interdisciplinary level. His specific research projects are: 1) Na/K-ATPase and regulation of sperm function (funded by NSERC-DG); 2) Testis-specific isoform of Angiotensin-converting enzyme and regulation of sperm function (funded by NSERC-DG); 3) Development of reproductive technologies for genetic preservation of wildlife; 4) Modulation of nutrition as a management tool for enhancing reproductive potential of dairy bulls; 5) Effect of environmental factors on preimplantation development of mammalian embryos (collaborative project with the Regional Fertility Program, Calgary); 6) Nutritional modulation of sperm epigenome (collaborative project with INRA, France); and 7) In vitro production of cattle embryos for commercial purpose (funded by ALMA). The most exciting aspect of Dr. Thundathil's research program is the availability of a wide spectrum of expertise, facilities, and collaborators (within and external to U of C), which attracts trainees with various backgrounds (basic science and DVM) and research interests (basic science, applied and clinical research).

Important research contributions: 

  • Ojaghi M, Johnson C, Rizzoto G, Kastelic J, Thundathil JC. Content and activity of the testis-specific isoform of angiotensin-converting enzyme are reduced in frozen-thawed bull spermatozoa. Reprod Fertil Dev 2018 (doi: 10.1071/RD17219)

  • Ojaghi M, Kastelic J, Thundathil JC. Testis-specific isoform of angiotensin-converting enzyme (tACE) as a candidate marker for bull fertility. Reprod Fertil Dev 2018 (doi: 10.1071/RD17300).

  • Rajamanickam GD, Kastelic JP, Thundathil JC. Na/K-ATPase regulates bovine sperm capacitation through raft- and non-raft-mediated signaling mechanisms. Mol Reprod Dev 2017;84:1168-1182.

  • Rajamanickam GD, Kastelic JP, Thundathil JC. The ubiquitous isoform of Na/K-ATPase (ATP1A1) regulates junctional proteins, connexin 43 and claudin 11 via Src-EGFR-ERK1/2-CREB pathway in rat Sertoli cells. Biol Reprod 2017;96:456-468.

  • Rajamanickam GD, Kastelic JP, Thundathil JC. Content of testis-specific isoform of Na/K-ATPase (ATP1A4) is increased during bovine sperm capacitation through translation in mitochondrial ribosomes. Cell Tissue Res 2017;368:187-200.


Dr. Thundathil received his BVSc & AH and MVSc from the Kerala Agricultural University, India. He received his PhD in reproductive physiology from the University of Saskatchewan and completed special projects in reproductive physiology (Royal Veterinary College, Uppsala, Sweden; CIZ Genetics and Research, Cremona, Italy; Embryology Laboratory, Pontifical Catholic University, Santiago, Chile) through visiting fellowship programs. Dr. Thundathil received postdoctoral training in molecular regulation of sperm function (Animal and Poultry Science, University of Guelph; Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University) and early embryo development (University of Montreal). Dr. Thundathil is a registered veterinarian in Alberta and his research program is focused on understanding the regulation of male fertility. He has a special interest in bull breeding soundness evaluation, frozen semen evaluation, in vitro production of cattle embryos for research and commercial purpose and preserving the genetics of endangered wildlife through reproductive technologies.

He was appointed as Associate Dean, Graduate Education on July 1, 2017.

Research Personnel/Trainees

Research Assistant:

  • Mina Ojaghi, MSc

Current trainees:

  • Chinju Johnson (PhD Candidate)

Past trainees

  • Mina Ojaghi (MSc)
  • Alysha Dance (PhD)
  • Dr. Gayathri Devi Rajamanickam (PhD)
  • Dr. Diogo Camara (Visiting Professor, Brazil)
  • Larissa Newton (MSc)
  • Dr. Sulochana Krishnakumar (PhD)
  • Dr. Habib Saadi Shojaei (MSc)
  • Dr. Ajitkumar G. Menon (PDF)
  • Dr. Rajesh Jaiswal (PDF)
  • Dr. Karina Lemos Goularte (Visiting PhD student; Brazil)
  • Evine Riemsdijk (Visiting MSc student; The Netherlands)
  • Dr. Deiler Sampaio Costa (Visiting Professor, Brazil)
  • Dr. Diogo Camara (Visiting Professor, Brazil)