Cross appointments

Does not hold any cross appointments.

Research achievements

Research summary

My research includes characterization of rare, difficult-to-identify or novel bacterial pathogens, which have caused disease in humans.

Publications in textbooks, peer-reviewed journals or invited lectures have included overviews of genera or species nova descriptions of a variety of aerobes and strict anaerobes.

We have described features of bacteria thought to be commensals but which we found had caused significant disease in a human.

We have also documented human disease caused by bacteria thought to occur only in the environment or derived from animals.

Publications to date include 20 chapters for textbooks such as the Manual of Clinical Microbiology, Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook and nearly 140 peer-reviewed publications.

Research themes

  • Characterization of rare or novel bacterial pathogens
  • Antimicrobial susceptibility of rare or novel pathogens

Research groups

Research groups include:

Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)


  • Aerobes
  • Anaerobes
  • Novel bacterial pathogens
  • Rare gram positive or gram negative bacterial pathogens


Kathryn Bernard has been a long-time employee of the National Microbiology Laboratory, part of the Public Agency of Canada (PHAC) and located in Winnipeg Manitoba (Canada’s federal reference centre, equivalent of the CDC).

She has worked in a federal reference laboratory, which characterized rare, difficult to identify or novel bacterial human pathogens received from provincial public health laboratories, hospitals, or international collaborators.

She has a gram-positive bacillus named after her (Trueperella bernardiae) and has been honored with awards for contributions to microbiology from two Canadian national microbiology organizations.

She oversaw lab response to bioterrorism type referrals at the NML from 1999-2005.

To date, she has authored or co-authored nearly 140 peer-reviewed publications, textbook chapters, and guidelines, has been a frequently requested guest speaker and has presented over 110 papers at national or international conferences.

She is a frequent reviewer for various microbiology journals, such as JCM, IJSEM and others.

She has helped to create and lead the Canadian MALDI-TOF user’s group, as well as overseen a national challenge test for identification of pathogens using 16S rRNA sequencing and/or MALDI-TOF systems.

Upon retirement from PHAC in March 2021, she will provide consultative services in these areas of expertise.


Master of Science (M.Sc.), McGill University
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), University of Windsor


Long Term Service Award (40 years), PHAC (2020)

Canadian College of Microbiology (CCM) Distinguished Microbiologist Award (2016)

John G. Fitzgerald Clinical Microbiologist Award, Canadian Association of Clinical Microbiology, and Infectious Diseases (CACMID) (2015)

Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award (2002)

Head of the Public Service Award (2001)

Bacterium named after K. Bernard, now designated as Trueperella bernardiae (1995)

Contact us

Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room 543 - 745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada