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Jean-Francois Pombert

Jean-Francois Pombert, Ph.D.

Jean-Francois Pombert
Assistant Professor of Biology
Academic Editor, PLOS ONE






LS 296


Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Universite Laval 2008
PDF in Genomics, Universite Laval 2007-2008
PDF in Genomics, University of British Columbia 2008-2013

Research & Accomplishments 

My research revolves mostly around comparative genomics, with an emphasis on finding the elements that distinguish obligate pathogens from their free-living relatives. I am particularly interested by key protists that could help us better understand the evolution of pathogenicity and by microbiomes and their associated diseases. I am also interested by unknown or poorly understood organisms and work with species widely dispersed across the Tree of Life.


  • Comparative genomics, Computational biology/bioinformatics, High-throughput DNA sequencing


  • Oral microbiome, Green algal genomics, Pathogen genomics


  • FQRNT/Génome Québec Louis-Berlinguet Postdoctoral Fellowship (2008-2010)
  • Best Teacher, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Universite Laval (2007)
  • CREFSIP Doctoral Scholarship (2001-2002)


2015 Pombert JF, Haag KL, Beidas S, Ebert D and Keeling PJ. The Ordospora colligata genome; evolution of extreme reduction in microsporidia and host-to-parasite horizontal gene transfer. mBio. 6(1):e02400-14.

2014 Pombert JF, Blouin NA, Lane C, Boucias D and Keeling PJ. A lack of parasitic reduction in the obligate parasitic green alga Helicosporidium. PLoS Genetics. 10(5): e1004355.

2014 Sun Y and Pombert JF. Helicosporidia: A genomic snapshot of an early transition to parasitism. Acta Soc Bot Pol. 83(4):377–385.

2014 Haag KL, James TY, Pombert JF, Larsson R, Schaer TMM, Refardt D and Ebert D. Evolution of a morphological novelty occurred before genome compaction in a lineage of extreme parasites. PNAS. 111(43): 15480-15485.

2014 Peyretaillade E, Boucher D, Parisot N, Gasc C, Butler R, Pombert JF, Lerat E and Peyret P. Exploiting the architecture and the features of the microsporidian genomes to investigate diversity and impact of these parasites on ecosystems. Heredity. September 3rd, Advanced access.

2013 Pombert JF, Otis C, Turmel M and Lemieux C. The mitochondrial genome of the prasinophyte Prasinoderma coloniale reveals two trans-spliced group I introns in the large subunit rRNA gene. PLoS ONE. 8(12): e84325.

2013 Pombert JF, Smirnov A, James ER, Janouškovec J, Gray MW and Keeling PJ. The complete mitochondrial genome from an unidentified Phalansterium species. Protist Genomics. 1:25-32.

2013 Pombert JF, Xu J, Smith DR, Heiman D, Young S, Cuomo CA, Weiss LM and Keeling PJ. Complete genome sequences from three genetically distinct strains reveal a high intra-species genetic diversity in the microsporidian Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Eukaryotic Cell. 12(4): 503-511.

Complete publication list »

Professional Societies 

  • Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (Lifetime)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (2013-present)
  • American Society for Microbiologists (2013-present)