Jonathan LaMarre

Jonathan LaMarre


DVM, PhD Guelph
 Office: Biomed 3606
 519-824-4120 Ext. 54935

 Lab: Biomed 3638
 519-824-4120 Ext. 58261


Research Interests

My research activities would be best described as those of a veterinary biomedical scientist and reproductive biologist. By this, I mean that my laboratory explores the basic processes that underlie a broad range of cellular and physiological events relevant to animal and human health, focusing on processes that affect fertility and development. A strong unifying theme of my work is the attempt to understand important and under-recognized mechanisms that control gene expression at the post-transcriptional level.

The primary tissue/cellular systems currently studied in my laboratory are mammalian (bovine, canine, feline) gametes and embryos. In particular, over the past 5 years, we have investigated the effects of small RNA molecules such as microRNAs and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) that “broker” the interaction between proteins and their coding RNA targets in order to regulate RNA decay and/or translation into protein.

My laboratory has also made significant contributions to understanding novel mechanisms of growth and functional regulation other tissues and cells, most notably, the ovarian follicle and corpus luteum. We have also performed a number of studies investigating dysregulation of cellular growth and function in different tumor cell models. Finally, because many of the processes we investigate act through the activity of “measureable” factors (eg. miRNAs), we have begun to work extensively with more applied aspects such as biomarker discovery, fertility control and clinical IVF procedures.  

Funding Sources: The primary funding source for studies in my laboratory has been the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. I have also obtained operating grants from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) for our work on the reproductive system. I am currently funded by NSERC and the Michelson Grants Program in Reproduction.

Future Directions: In the future, I envision a continuing focus on the molecular mechanisms behind the profound changes in gene expression that accompany embryo development and the roles that these changes play in controlling cellular behavior (cell-cycle entry, differentiated function). Our studies will continue to address the mechanisms by which important “effector” genes are regulated in the embryo, particularly by small RNA pathways, and how this can be applied to clinical contexts such as IVF, stem cells and cryobiology. We will also address the impact of these regulatory events on the ultimate fate of embryonic cells, and the ways in which these regulatory events become dysregulated during abnormal cell growth such as that seen in cancer.

Current Graduate Students

  • Vanessa Zak - PhD
  • Marangaby Mahamat - PhD
  • Ananya Aneja - MBS
  • Sara Esfahani - MBS
  • Ainsley Rooney - MBS
  • Nadiia Kostiuk - MSc
  • Charly McKenna - PhD
  • Sabrina O'Donnell - MBS


Selected Publications


  • Sabry R, Williams M, Werry N, LaMarre J, Favetta LA. BPA Decreases PDCD4 in Bovine Granulosa Cells Independently of miR-21 Inhibition. Int J Mol Sci. 2022  Jul 27;23(15):8276. doi: 10.3390/ijms23158276.
  • Parmentier T, James FMK, Hewitson E, Bailey C, Werry N, Sheridan SD, Perlis RH, Perreault ML, Gaitero L, Lalonde J, LaMarre J. Human cerebral spheroids undergo 4-aminopyridine-induced, activity associated changes in cellular composition and microrna expression. Sci Rep. 2022 Jun 1;12(1):9143. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-13071-x.
  • Werry N, Russell SJ, Gillis DJ, Miller S, Hickey K, Larmer S, Lohuis M, Librach C, LaMarre J. Characteristics of miRNAs Present in Bovine Sperm and Associations With Differences in Fertility. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 May 19;13:874371. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2022.874371.
  • Lepage SIM, Sharma R, Dukoff D, Stalker L, LaMarre J, Koch TG. Gene Expression Profile Is Different between Intact and Enzymatically Digested Equine Articular Cartilage. Cartilage. 2021 Apr;12(2):222-25. doi: 10.1177/1947603519833148.
  • Sabry R, Saleh AC, Stalker L, LaMarre J, Favetta LA. Effects of bisphenol A and bisphenol S on microRNA expression during bovine (Bos taurus) oocyte maturation and early embryo development. Reprod Toxicol. 2021 Jan;99:96-108. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2020.12.001.
  • Tobias IC, Kao MC, Parmentier T, Hunter H, LaMarre J, Betts DH. Targeted expression profiling reveals distinct stages of early canine fibroblast reprogramming are regulated by 2-oxoglutarate hydroxylases. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2020 Dec 9;11(1):528. doi: 10.1186/s13287-020-02047-1.
  • Vendrell-Flotats M, García-Martínez T, Martínez-Rodero I, López-Béjar M, LaMarre J, Yeste M, Mogas T. In vitro maturation in the presence of Leukemia Inhibitory Factor modulates gene and miRNA expression in bovine oocytes and embryos. Sci Rep. 2020 Oct 20;10(1):17777. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-74961-6.
  • Vendrell-Flotats M, García-Martínez T, Martínez-Rodero I, Lopez-Bejar M, LaMarre J, Yeste M, Mogas T. In Vitro Maturation with Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Prior to the Vitrification of Bovine Oocytes Improves Their Embryo Developmental Potential and Gene Expression in Oocytes and Embryos. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 25;21(19):7067. doi: 10.3390/ijms21197067.
  • Antunes J, Lee O, Alizadeh AH, LaMarre J, Koch TG. Why the hype - What are microRNAs and why do they provide unique investigative, diagnostic, and therapeutic opportunities in veterinary medicine? Can Vet J. 2020 Aug;61(8):845-852.
  •  Sabry R, Yamate J, Favetta L, LaMarre J. MicroRNAs: potential targets and agents of endocrine disruption in female reproduction. J Toxicol Pathol. 2019 Oct;32(4):213-221. doi: 10.1293/tox.2019-0054. Epub 2019 Jul 27. PMID: 31719748; PMCID: PMC6831493.
  • Russell SJ, LaMarre J. Transposons and the PIWI pathway: genome defense in gametes and embryos. Reproduction. 2018 Oct 1;156(4):R111–R124. doi: 10.1530/REP-18-0218.
  • Tscherner A, Brown AC, Stalker L, Kao J, Dufort I, Sirard MA, LaMarre J. STAT3 signaling stimulates miR-21 expression in bovine cumulus cells during in vitro oocyte maturation. Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 1;8(1):11527. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29874-w.