Prof. Steve Lacroix PhD
Chercheur universitaire / Axis director
Neuroscience axis, CHUL
Full professor
Department of Molecular Medicine
Faculty of Medicine
Université Laval
Quebec City (QC), Canada


Steve Lacroix is Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of Université Laval, and the Director of the Neurosciences Axis at the CHU de Québec–Université Laval Research Center. He received his Ph.D. from Université Laval in 1998. He then trained as a postdoc with Dr. Mark Tuszynski at the University of California–San Diego (1998-2001) and with Dr. Samuel David at McGill University (2001-2003). He now teaches and conducts research in the fields of neuroimmunology and regenerative medicine, areas in which he has directly supervised the work of >25 graduate students and >30 undergrads. With over 20 years of research funded without interruption and focusing on understanding and targeting neuroimmune interactions in the context of spinal cord injury and disease, he has published more than 75 papers with over 8,200 citations and an h-index of 44, many of which are published in the leading neuroscience and immunology journals (Nat Commun, J Clin Invest, J Exp Med, Annu Rev Neurosci, Brain, Ann Neurol, PNAS, J Neurosci). He is the recipient of the 2020 Turnbull-Tator Award that recognizes outstanding research in the field of spinal cord and/or brain injury research. His recent research has focused on the identification of the endogenous signals initiating neuroinflammation and the role of immune cells in neural damage and repair in the context of SCI and MS. The Lacroix lab has expertise with transgenic mouse models and intravital microscopy techniques to tackle key questions related to the biology of immune and barrier-forming cells, and then applying these insights in preclinical models of SCI and MS.

Five most important publications:

  1. Bretheau F, Castellanos Molina A, Bélanger D, Kusik M, Mailhot B, Boisvert A, Vallières N, Lessard M, Gunzer M, Liu X, Boilard É, Quan N, Lacroix S. The alarmin interleukin-1a triggers secondary degeneration through reactive astrocytes and endothelium after spinal cord injury. Nature Communications, 13 (2022): 5786. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-33463-x.
  2. Mailhot B, Christin M, Tessandier N, Sotoudeh C, Bretheau F, Turmel R, Pellerin È, Wang F, Bories C, Joly-Beauparlant C, De Koninck Y, Droit A, Cicchetti F, Scherrer G, Boilard E, Sharif-Naeini R, Lacroix S. Neuronal interleukin-1 receptors mediate pain in chronic inflammatory diseases. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 217 (2020): e20191430. doi: 10.1084/jem.20191430
  3. Bellver-Landete V, Bretheau F, Mailhot B, Vallières N, Lessard M, Janelle M-E, Vernoux N, Tremblay M-È, Fuehrmann T, Shoichet M, Lacroix S. Microglia are an essential component of the neuroprotective scar that forms after spinal cord injury. Nature Communications, 10 (2019): 518.
  4. Paré A, Mailhot B, Lévesque SA, Juzwik C, Ignatius Arokia Doss PM, Lécuyer M-A, Prat A, Rangachari M, Fournier A, Lacroix S. IL-1β enables CNS access to CCR2hi monocytes and the generation of pathogenic cells through GM-CSF released by CNS endothelial cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 115 (2018): E1194-E1203.
  5. Lévesque SA, Paré A, Mailhot B, Bellver-Landete V, Kébir H, Lécuyer M-A, Alvarez JI, Prat A, de Rivero Vaccari JP, Keane RW, Lacroix S. Myeloid cell transmigration across the CNS vasculature triggers IL-1β-driven neuroinflammation during autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 213 (2016), 929-49.