Michele Loewen

Roles and responsibilities

Senior Research Officer: I am a biochemist specializing in protein structure-function (interactions and engineering). I work across a spectrum of fields focused on the protection of Canada's agricultural crops and oceans and the value-added bioprocessing of agricultural- and marine- derived biomass into useful materials.

Team Lead: I also lead the of the Biocatalysis and BioProcessing Team within the Aquatic and Crop Resources Development Research Center.


Current research and/or projects

BioMax: Oxidoreductases for hemicellulose upgrading to bio-derived cross-linkers.  04/2022 – 03/2024 (Co-PI) Alliance Grant – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Mycotoxin Detoxification for Reduction of Food Waste.  O3/2021 – 03/2024 (Lead) Agri-Food Initiative Grant – National Research Council

Advanced Pulse Processing Techniques for Reduction of Allergenicity. O1/2021 – 03/2024 (Co-PI) Sustainable Protein Production Grant – National Research Council

Applications of Genetic Code Expansion for Development of Biocatalysts to Enable Value-added Bioprocessing. 08/2020 – 08/2024 (Co-PI) Alliance Grant – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Fungal Pheromone Receptors in Host-Pathogen Interactions Events 05/2018 - 04/2024 (Lead) Discovery Grant - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada & National Research Council of Canada.


Post-Doctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1998-2001

Post-Doctoral Associate, University of Basel, 1997-1998

Ph.D. Biochemistry, Queen’s University, 1997

B.Sc. Biochemistry, University of Manitoba, 1988


Adjunct Professor: Dept of Chemistry and Biomelocular Sciences, University of Ottawa

Adjunct Professor: Dept of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University

Key publications

(last 5 years only)

Murphy RM, Stanczyk JC, Huang, Loewen ME, Yang TC, Loewen MC (2023) Reduction of phenolics in faba bean meal using recombinantly produced and purified Bacillus ligniniphilus catechol 2,3‑dioxygenase. Bioresources and Bioprocessing. In press https://doi.org/10.1186/s40643-023-00633-8.

Robinson KA, St-Jacques AD, Bakestani ID, Beavington BAG, Loewen MC (2022) Pea and lentil 7S globulin crystal structures with comparative immunoglobulin epitope mapping, Food Chemistry: Molecular Sciences, 5, 100146, doi: 10.1016/j.fochms.2022.100146.

Sharma T, Sridhar PS, Blackman C, Foote SJ, Allingham JS, Subramaniam R, Loewen M.  (2022) Fusarium graminearum Ste3 G-Protein Coupled Receptor: A Mediator of Hyphal Chemotropism and Pathogenesis. mSphere.  Nov 15:e0045622. doi: 10.1128/msphere.00456-22.

Mohapatra DP, Robinson KA, Huang F, Kirpalani D, Loewen MC, (2022) Insights into Increasing Selenate Reductase Enzyme Activity in the Presence of Nitrogen-Doped Graphite Electrodes for Selenium Effluent Treatment.  Water Mar 16; 14,931; doi: 10.3390/w14060931.

Diddi N, Lai L, Brookbank BP, Hussain S, Nambara E, Todd C, Nourimand M, Tar'an B, Song D, Holbrook L, Doshi K, Loewen MC, Luna EK, Shipp J, Leach JE, Robinson SJ, Abrams SR. (2021) 3'-(Phenyl alkynyl) analogs of abscisic acid: synthesis and biological activity of potent ABA antagonists. Org Biomol Chem. Mar 17. doi: 10.1039/d1ob00166c.

Demissie ZA, Robinson KA, Loewen MC. (2021) Draft genome resources for the plant-beneficial fungi Clonostachys rosea strains ACM941 and 88-710. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. Jan 6. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-10-20-0294-A.

Buhrow LM, Liu Z, Cram D, Sharma T, Foroud NA, Pan Y, Loewen MC. (2020) Wheat transcriptome profiling reveals abscisic and gibberellic acid treatments regulate early-stage phytohormone defense signaling, cell wall fortification, and metabolic switches following Fusarium graminearum-challenge.  bioRxiv 2020.09.17.302737; doi: 10.1101/2020.09.17.302737

Demissie ZA, Huang F, Song H, Todd AT, Vrinten P, Loewen MC. (2020) Barley "uzu" and Wheat "uzu-like" Brassinosteroid Receptor BRI1 Kinase Domain Variations Modify Phosphorylation Activity In Vitro. Biochemistry. 59:2986-2997. doi: 10.1021/acs.biochem.0c00424.

Rajagopalan N, Lu Y, Burton IW, Monteil-Rivera F, Halasz A, Reimer E, Tweidt, R, Brûlé-Babel A, Kutcher HR, You FM, Cloutier S, Cuperlovic-Culf M, Hiebert CW, McCallum BD, Loewen MC. (2020) A phenylpropanoid diglyceride associates with the leaf rust resistance Lr34res gene in wheat. Phytochemistry. 178:112456. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2020.112456.

Sridhar PS, Trofimova D, Subramaniam R, González-Peña Fundora D, Foroud NA, Allingham JS, Loewen MC. (2020) Ste2 receptor-mediated chemotropism of Fusarium graminearum contributes to its pathogenicity against wheat. Sci Rep. 10:10770. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-67597-z.

Demissie ZA, Witte T, Robinson KA, Sproule A, Foote SJ, Johnston A, Harris LJ, Overy DP, Loewen MC. (2020) Transcriptomic and Exometabolomic Profiling Reveals Antagonistic and Defensive Modes of Clonostachys rosea Action Against Fusarium graminearum. Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 33:842-858. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-11-19-0310-R.

Demissie ZA, Brown WG, Loewen MC. (2019). A Universally Primed-Polymerase Chain Reaction (UPPCR) Marker to Discriminate Clonostachys rosea ACM941 from Related Strains. J Fungi. 5(39)

Luu K, Rajagopalan N, Ching JCH, Loewen ME, Loewen MC. (2019). The malate-activated ALMT12 anion channel in the grass Brachypodium distachyon is co-activated by Ca2+/calmodulin. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 294: 6142-6156.

Demissie ZA, Foote S, Tan Y, Loewen MC. (2018). Profiling of the transcriptomic responses of Clonostachys rosea upon treatment with Fusarium graminearum secretome. Frontiers in Microbiology. 9(1061)

Loewen PC, Switala J, Wells JP, Huang F, Zara AT, Allingham JS, Loewen MC. (2018). Structure and Function of a Lignostilbene-α,β-dioxygenase orthologue from Pseudomonas brassicacearum. BMC Biochemistry. 19(8).

Michele Loewen

Michele Loewen

Program Advisor
Industrial Research Assistance Program
1200 Montreal Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R6
Preferred language: English
Telephone: 306-998-7015


Agriculture, Biochemistry, Plant, Environment, Sustainability, Fungi, Biocontrol, Phytopathogens, Materials, Biomaterials, Biopolymers