Dorothee Bienzle

Dorothee Bienzle head shot


 DVM Guelph, M.Sc. Guelph; PhD McMaster, Diplomate ACVP
 Office: PAHL 3822
 519-824-4120 Ext. 54351

 Lab: PAHL 3806
 519-824-4120 Ext. 54634



After obtaining the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, I practiced veterinary medicine for two years, and then returned for a Master of Science degree combined with a residency in Veterinary Clinical Pathology at the University of Guelph. Thereafter, I obtained board certification by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists. I then completed a PhD in Immunology at McMaster University Medical School funded by a Medical Research Council of Canada fellowship.  I then spent two years on faculty at the University of Georgia, and then joined the faculty of the University of Guelph. At the University of Guelph I held a Canada Research Chair II in Veterinary Pathology from 2005 to 2015. I have an active research program supported by  agencies and foundations such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Canada Research Chairs program, Equine Guelph, Pet Trust and others.

My time is dedicated to research focused on feline immunity and the role of the epitheliumn equine asthma, teaching in the veterinary and graduate curriculum, including diagnostic interpretations for the OVC Health Sciences Centre (OVC-HSC), and service at the institutional and professional organization level. I have been elected president of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists for 2019. My area of diagnostic expertise is hemolymphatic neoplasia. I oversee the flow cytometry facility at the OVC and analysis of clinical samples through the Animal Health Laboratory. I also provide professional expertise to a variety of research collaborators, colleagues in industry and administrators at other academic institutions.

Research Interests

  • Feline immunity
  • Role of the epithelium in equine asthma
  • Development of novel diagnostic assays

Overview of research projects in Clinical Pathology - Bienzle Lab (poster)

Cancer Research

Leukemia and lymphoma

  • Cancer of blood cells is as common in animals as in people
  • There are many different types of leukemia and lymphoma
  • Some cause very little disease and allow the animal to live a long time, while others cause death within weeks 

Research goals: Develop better tests to diagnose
and characterize different types of leukemia and lymphoma

Asthma Research

Asthma in horses

  • Many older horses in Canada develop "heaves” or “recurrent airway obstruction” (RAO)
  • Disease results from chronic exposure to dusty hay, straw and mold spores
  • Affected horses cough, have excess mucus production and airway constriction, and have difficulty expiring air

Research goals: Identify why this disease develops and how to diagnose it earlier

Feline Virus Research

Host response to FIV

  • Cats are susceptible to infection by the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
  • FIV is very similar to HIV and causes AIDS in cats
  • Cats vary in how they respond to FIV infection and how quickly they develop immunodeficiency

Research goal: Identify determinants of variable progression from FIV infection

Graduate Students

Current Graduate Students

  • Anna Meredith (co-advisor), DVM (University of Guelph), DVSc (University of Guelph)

  • Peyman Asadian, DVM & DVSc (University of Tehran, Iran); PhD (University of Guelph)

  • Gary Lee, DVM & MSc (Murdoch University, Australia), PhD (University of Guelph)

  • Gabriella Diamantino, DVM (University of Minas Gerais, Brazil); MSc (Federal University of Minas Gerais), DVSc (University of Guelph)

Former Graduate Students

I am dedicated to assist my graduate students complete their research and thesis, to succeed with specialty certification, to gain meaningful employment and to develop their careers. Eighteen graduate students have completed their research thesis under my supervision, and hold positions in academia, government, specialty practice, biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry, or diagnostic laboratories. I enjoy many ongoing collaborations and professional affiliations with former graduate students.

  • Cedric Larouche (co-advisor), DVM (St Hyacinthe), DVSc (University of Guelph S'19)
  • Ellie Milnes (co-advisor), DVM (University of Cambridge), DVSc (University of Guelph S'18)
  • Laurence Tessier, BSc (Laval University); MSc (University of Guelph, 2013), PhD (University of Guelph W'18)
  • N. Deravi DVM (University of Guelph); DVSc (University of Guelph, F'17)
  • S. Karlyn Bland, MSc (University of Calgary); DVM (University of Saskatchewan); DVSc (University of Guelph, S’14)
  • Olivier Côté, BSc (University of Quebec); MSc (University of Montreal); PhD (University of Guelph, W’14)
  • Elizabeth MacMillan, BSc (Queens University); MSc (University of Guelph, S’14)
  • Solomon Odemuyiwa, DVM and PhD (University of Ibedan); DVSc (University of Guelph, W'12)
  • Janet Beeler-Marfisi, DVM (University of Guelph); DVSc (University of Guelph, S'10)
  • Michal Neta, DVM (Koret School of Veterinary Medicine); PhD (University of Guelph, W'09)
  • Alex Folkl, BSc (University of Guelph), MSc (University of Guelph, S'08)
  • Julie Blanco-Chavez, DVM (Mexico); MSc (University of Guelph, W'08)
  • Paula Katavolos, DVM (Tufts University); PhD (University of Guelph; W'06)
  • Amelie Leclerc (co-adivsor), DVM (University of Montreal); DVSc (University of Guelph; F'04)
  • Jonathan Meyer, DVM (University of Pretoria); DVSc (University of Guelph; S'04)
  • Ryan Dowling, BSc (University of Guelph); MSc (University of Guelph; F'04)
  • Felipe Reggeti, DVM and MSc (Venezuela); PhD (University of Guelph; S'05)
  • Lynne Sandmeyer (co-advisor), DVM (University of Saskatchewan); DVSc (University of Guelph, F'03)
  • Carolina Duque, DVM (Columbia); MSc (University of Guelph, S'01)

Summer or Project Research Students

I have supervised the summer or undergraduate research thesis project for more than 20 students, some of whom are listed below.

  • Catherine Belanger, DVM (University of Guelph, 2018)
  • Angela Tiessen, DVM (University of Guelph, 2019)
  • Veronical Parsons, DVM (University of Guelph, 2018)
  • Gillian Finnie, DVM (University of Guelph, 2017)
  • Mathew Kornya, DVM ((University of Guelph, 2015)
  • Deborah Castro, DVM (Brazil, 2017)
  • Daniel Caudle, DVM (University of Guelph, 2012)
  • Laura van den Bosch, BIOM (University of Guelph, 2012)
  • Alistair MacDonald, BIOM (University of Guelph, 2012)
  • Sabina Staempfli, BSc (Waterloo, 2010)
  • Jim Welsh, DVM (University of Guelph, 2010)
  • Perrin Valli, BASc (McGill, 2009)
  • Elizabeth Kuczynski, BSc (University of Guelph 2008)
  • John Murray, DVM (University of Guelph, 2008)
  • Mélanie Ammersbach, DVM (University of Guelph, 2007)
  • Janet Beeler-Marfisi, DVM (University of Guelph, 2007)

Visiting Scientists

Colleagues or collaborators who have visited my laboratory or the Clinical Pathology Group:

  • Dr. A. Goddard (University of Pretoria, South Africa)
  • A. Achleitner (University of Vienna, Austria)
  • Dr. C. Groendal (University of Oslo, Norway)
  • Dr. E. Ramery (University of Liege, Belgium)
  • Dr. J. Turbok (University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Hungary)

Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Dr. L. Tessier
  • Dr. S. Bland
  • Dr. H. Mohammadi
  • Dr. G. Labbé
  • Dr. P. Katavolos

Research Interests

Clinical Service

In conjunction with residents/graduate students, I interpret laboratory submissions from the OVC Health Science Centre (OVC-HSC) during approximately 15 weeks per year. I regularly consult for the Animal Health Laboratory regarding Clinical Pathology assays, and for general and specialized veterinarians regarding challenging hemolymphatic cases.


DVM and undergraduate curriculum

  • VETM*4490 Systems Pathology (hemolymphatic, respiratory, musculoskeletal and nervous system cytology, endocrine pathophysiology)
  • VETM*4850 Veterinary Diagnostic and Laboratory Medicine (cytology)
  • BIOM*4510 Research in Biomedical Sciences - Senior thesis supervision

Graduate curriculum

  • PABI*6104 Mechanisms of Disease
  • PABI*6030 Applied Clinical Pathology I
  • PABI*6040 Applied ClinicalPathology II
  • PABI*6041 Applied ClinicalPathology III (course coordinator)
  • PABI*6300 Clinical Pathology I (Hematology & Cytology, course coordinator)
  • PABI*6320 Clinical Pathology II (Clinical Chemistry)
  • BIOM*6800 Gene Expression in Health and Disease


Selected Publications

In addition to 120+ peer-reviewed publications, I have also contributed to several textbooks in Veterinary Pathology:

1.  Bienzle D. Collection and interpretation of bone marrow samples. British Small Animal Veterinary Association: Manual of small animal haematology and haemostasis. Ed. Day MJ, Mackin A. 2000.

2. Bienzle D. Monocytes and macrophages. Schalm’s Veterinary Hematology. Eds. Feldman BF, Zinkl JG, Jain NC. 5th edition, 2001.

3. Latimer KS, Bienzle D. Interpretation of Avian Leukocyte Responses. Schalm’s Veterinary Hematology Eds. Feldman BF, Zinkl JG, Jain NC. 5th edition, 2001.

4.  Bienzle D. Hematopoietic neoplasia. Veterinary Laboratory Medicine. Eds. Latimer KS, Prasse KW, Mahaffey EA. 4th edition, 2003.

5. Latimer KS, Bienzle D. Interpretation of Avian Leukocyte Responses. Schalm’s Veterinary Hematology Eds. Weiss DJ, Wardrop J. 6th edition, 346-367, 2009.

6.  Bienzle D. Hematopoietic neoplasia. Veterinary Laboratory Medicine. Ed. Latimer KS. 5th edition, 83-105, 2011.

7. Bienzle D. Collection and interpretation of bone marrow samples. British Small Animal Veterinary Association: Manual of small animal haematology and haemostasis. Ed. Day MJ, 2nd edition, pp 21-30, 2012.

8. Valli VEO, Bienzle D, Meuten DJTumors of the hemolymphatic system. In: Moulton’s Tumors in Domestic Animals. Ed. Meuten DJ, 5th edition, Wiley 2016.

9. Valli VEO, Kiupel M, Bienzle D. Hemolymphatic system. In: Jubb, Kennedy & Palmer's Pathology of Domestic Animals. Ed. Maxie GM, 6th edition, Elsevier, 102-267, 2015.

10. Tan E, Bienzle D. Bone marrow. In: Small Animal Cytologic Diagnosis. Eds. Barger A, McNeill A, CRC Press, 471-498, 2016.

11. Bienzle D, Wood RD. Laboratory procedures in critical care. In: Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Manual. Ed. Mathews KA, 3rd edition, Lifelearn, 2018.

12. Beeler-Marfisi J, Defarges Bienzle D, A. Nasal cytology of the dog and cat. In: Veterinary Cytology. Eds. Sharkey LC, Radin MJ, 2019.

13. Defarges A, Bienzle D. Lower respiratory cytology of the dog and cat. In: Veterinary Cytology. Eds. Sharkey LC, Radin MJ, 2019.

Search PubMed for additional publications by Dr. Bienzle.