Research project

The role of immune response and neurotrophic factors in the regeneration of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves

Project Description

The goal of the proposed research project is to manipulate the immune response in order to create a better environment for axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury. The experiments in question consist of inducing phagocytes to more effectively eliminate molecules that are associated with degenerating myelin and which inhibit axonal growth after injury. This work may not only have a major impact in the regeneration of the central nervous system, but may also help to demystify the role of the immune response in pathological changes that occur following a spinal cord injury. Moreover, other research projects, currently under study in our laboratories, consist of identifying genes potentially able to induce re-growth of injured axons through the use of peripheral nerve regeneration models. Our ultimate goal is to express the most promising genes in models of spinal cord lesions and analyze their ability to promote axonal regeneration and recovery of motor and sensory functions.

Techniques used

Microsurgeries of the spinal cord and peripheral nerves, 3D reconstruction, neuronal retrograde and anterograde labeling, in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, confocal and 2-photon microscopy, ex vivo gene therapy, cell transplantation.

Research Field

- Neuroimmunology
- Spinal cord injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Axonal regeneration
- Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
- Macrophage
- Neutrophil
- Cytokine
- Transgenic mice
- Two-photon intravital microscopy

Research Supervisor

Steve Lacroix

Research Environment

Laboratory of Dr. Steve Lacroix, CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center

The endocrinology and genomics axis is dedicated to the study of action mechanisms of hormones and endocrine disorders related to steroid hormones and neuropeptides. Hormones being modulators of gene expressivity in target tissues, and over the years, genomics has naturally been included in this research program, which takes a special interest in identifying and evaluating the contribution of genetic determinants of complex diseases. The principle approach used in this leading area covers the aspects of biosynthesis, inactivation, characterization and control of the action of hormones and the genetic approach to diseases relating to hormones. Technologies used in these studies are diverse and include cell and molecular biology, gene expressivity, genomics, proteomics, medicinal chemistry, protein crystallography, mass spectrometry, the genetically modified mice and bio-computers.

Web Site


Related Programs

Doctorate in Molecular Medicine

Program description

Financial aid available*

Financial aid related to research project

$22000 per year for 4 years.

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Plan Steps Incentive
Progression studentship (S-1 to S-8)
8 x $525
Progression studentship (S-9 to S-11) 3 x $200
Ph.D exam success
$800
Thesis deposit before the end of the 12th semester of full-time registration
$2,000
English or French as a Second Language training
$250
Total $7,850


Recruitment scholarships

Faculty of Medicine: Doctoral recruitment scholarships of up to $10,000.

Université Laval Research Fund for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases (FRAMR): Amounts up to $10,000.

Ven Murthy Scholarship: Two $25,000 recruitment scholarships in neuroscience for foreign students.

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Funding source Amount
Université Laval Doctoral Admission Scholarship  $2,000
Leadership and Sustainable Development Scholarships 
3 x $10,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships (in French)
$1,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies   
$21,000 to $50,000$
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

Supplemental Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship Program: Entitles international students to pay Canadian student tuition fees, for overall savings of around $30,000.

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Doctorate in Neurosciences

Program description

Financial aid available*

Financial aid related to research project

$22000 per year for 4 years.

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Plan Steps Incentive
Progression studentship (S-1 to S-8)
8 x $525
Progression studentship (S-9 to S-11) 3 x $200
Ph.D exam success
$800
Thesis deposit before the end of the 12th semester of full-time registration
$2,000
English or French as a Second Language training
$250
Total $7,850


Recruitment scholarships

Faculty of Medicine: Doctoral recruitment scholarships of up to $10,000.

Université Laval Research Fund for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases (FRAMR): Amounts up to $10,000.

Ven Murthy Scholarship: Two $25,000 recruitment scholarships in neuroscience for foreign students.

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Funding source Amount
Université Laval Doctoral Admission Scholarship  $2,000
Leadership and Sustainable Development Scholarships 
3 x $10,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships (in French)
$1,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies   
$21,000 to $50,000$
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

Supplemental Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship Program: Entitles international students to pay Canadian student tuition fees, for overall savings of around $30,000.

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Master's in Neurosciences – with dissertation

Program description

Financial aid available*

Financial aid related to research project

$20000 per year for 2 years.

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Plan Steps Incentive
Initial thesis submission before the end of the 6th semester of full-time registration
$1,000
English or French as a Second Language training
$250
Total $1,250

Faculty of Medicine Financial Assistance Fund for Academic Success: Two $5,000 merit awards.

Recruitment scholarships

Université Laval Research Fund for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases (FRAMR): Amounts up to $7,500.

Hydro-Québec Admission Scholarship: $5,000.

Faculty of Medicine Golf Tournament: Six $500 admission scholarships.

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Sources de financement Montant
Leadership and Sustainable Development Scholarships 2 x $5,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships (in French)
$1,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies
$14,100 to $21,000
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

Master's Scholarships for International StudentsThese scholarships are available in a number of programs to students from Africa and Europe, excluding France. This scholarship of $7,000 per year is awarded based on university academic achievement * Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Master's in Molecular Medicine - with dissertation

Program description

Financial aid available*

Financial aid related to research project

$20000 per year for 2 years.

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Plan Steps Incentive
Initial thesis submission before the end of the 6th semester of full-time registration
$1,000
English or French as a Second Language training
$250
Total $1,250

Faculty of Medicine Financial Assistance Fund for Academic Success: Two $5,000 merit awards.

Recruitment scholarships

Université Laval Research Fund for Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases (FRAMR): Amounts up to $7,500.

Hydro-Québec Admission Scholarship: $5,000.

Faculty of Medicine Golf Tournament: Six $500 admission scholarships.

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Desired Profile

- Biomedical Science
- Biology

Required Documentation

- Lettre de recommandation
- Cover letter
- Curriculum vitæ
- Student transcript

Application Deadline

May 21, 2021

Find Out More

Steve Lacroix
Professeur de médecine moléculaire
Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec
Steve.Lacroix@crchul.ulaval.ca