Jean-Pierre has a doctorate in veterinary medicine (1983) and master of science in clinical sciences (1986) from the University of Montreal; PhD in population medicine, University of Minnesota (1990). Before returning to the University of Montreal, he held professorships at the University of Guelph (1990-1996), at North Carolina State University (1996-2004) and was a visiting professor at UNAM (Mexico; 2002-2003) and at the Veterinary School in Toulouse, France (2017-2018).

Dr. Vaillancourt was the first coordinator of the Quebec team for the control of infectious poultry diseases for the design and implementation of emergency measures. He was chief auditor of avian influenza and foot-and-mouth disease simulations in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and France.

He was the Director of the research group on the epidemiology of zoonoses and public health (2009-2017) and associate director of the Public Health Research Institute of the University of Montreal (2013-2017).

He has been a member of Canadian advisory committees for the control of infectious diseases in poultry, swine and beef cattle and a co-leader of the World Veterinary Education in Production Animal Health originally based at the University of Luxembourg, now at the University of Montreal.  He has also served as expert in animal health and welfare for Anses (France).