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Jacob Thundathil

Position: 

Associate Professor (Reproductive Physiology & Theriogenology)
Production Animal Health (PAH)

Degrees and Board Certification: 

PhD, University of Saskatchewan

Certificate of Qualification, National Examining Board, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

MVSc, Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala, India

DVM, Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala, India

Contact Information: 

+1 (403) 220-8244
HMRB 400 
jthundat@ucalgary.ca

Biography: 

Dr. Thundathil received his DVM 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 and preserving the genetics of endangered wildlife through reproductive technologies.

Teaching : 

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

  1. Coordination of DVM courses (VETM 400: Clinical Presentations-II; and VETM 582: Assisted reproductive technologies in cattle; elective rotation)
  2. Participation in teaching VETM 321 (Veterinary Physiology)
  3. Contributions to graduate student education: Dr. Thundathil supervised 3 postdoctoral trainees, 1 PhD student and 2 MSc students and currently supervises 3 PhD students. In addition, he serves on graduate committees of 6 graduate students.
  4. Development of graduate courses: Developed, coordinated, and participated in teaching VETM 701/MDSC 701 (Advanced Topics in Reproductive Health).
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 technology enhanced learning in DVM program. His specific research projects are: 1) Morphologically abnormal bovine sperm: A model for the study of spermatogenesis, sperm function and sperm contributions to preimplantation embryo development (funded by NSERC-DG); 2) Na/K-ATPase as a fertility marker for beef cattle (funded by ALMA); 3) Development of reproductive technologies for genetic preservation; 4) Modulation of nutrition as a management tool for enhancing reproductive potential of dairy bulls (collaborative project with Dr. John Kastelic; supported through Eyes High initiative, U of C); 5) Testis-specific isoform of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme as a fertility marker in dairy bulls (NSERC-CRD); 6) Potential impacts of pre-natal nutrition and selection for residual feed intake (RFI) on bull reproductive development and fertility (collaborative project with Dr. Carolyn Fitzsimmons, U of A); and 7) Use of Virtual Animal Patient case simulations for teaching and assessing DVM courses. 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: 

  • Identified several functional markers for bull fertility (J Proteomics 2013;82:64-80; Theriogenology 2012; 77:940-951).
  • Reported for the first time that elevated testicular temperature modulates expression patterns of a cohort of sperm proteins in Holstein bulls (Mol Reprod Dev 2009;76:109-118).
  • Demonstrated that Na/K-ATPase regulates bovine sperm capacitation through kinases and redistribution of its testis-specific isoform (Mol Reprod Dev 2010;77:136-148).
  • Validated plains bison as a model for developing reproductive technologies for wood bison (Theriogenology 2011; 75:1360-1370).
  • First time report on in vitro production of embryos from wood bison (Theriogenology 2007;68:93-99).
  • Developed and tested effectiveness of computer-based case simulations for DVM teaching.

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Thundathil

Graduate Program Affiliations : 
Veterinary Medical Sciences
Medical Sciences
Research personnel and trainees : 

Technician:

  • Ms Azadeh Nasirian

Current trainees:

  • Miss. Alysha Dance (PhD candidate)
  • Dr. Gayathri Devi Rajamanickam (PhD candidate)
  • Ms Mina Ojaghi (MSc candidate)
  • Mr. Guihermo Rizzoto (DVM student, Brazil)

Past trainees

  • Miss. 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)
  • Miss. Evine Riemsdijk (Visiting MSc student; The Netherlands)
  • Dr. Deiler Sampaio Costa (Visiting Professor, Brazil)
  • Dr. Diogo Camara (Visiting Professor, Brazil)

 Dr. Thundathil supervised 14 undergraduates from different countries (Brazil, Canada, France and Germany) over the past 6 years.

Position Recruitment / Trainees : 
Please contact Dr. Thundathil by email (jthundat@ucalgary.ca) for student/PDF positions.