Dr. Steve Lacroix
Professor, Molecular Medicine, Université Laval
Steve Lacroix is Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Université Laval and Director of the Neurosciences Axis at the CHU de Québec Research Center (Canada). He received his Ph.D. from Université Laval in 1998. He was trained as a postdoc at the University of California, San Diego, in the field of spinal cord regeneration (1998-2001). From 2001 to 2003, he completed a second postdoc in neuroimmunology at McGill University, Montréal. Dr. Lacroix teaches and conducts research in the fields of neuroimmunology and regenerative medicine. 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 spinal cord and peripheral nerve injury and multiple sclerosis. With over 20 years of research in neuroimmune diseases, he has published more than 50 papers with over 5000 citations, many of which are published in the leading journals of neurosciences and immunology.
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How did you become interested in MS research? What inspires you to continue advancing research in this field?
MS has affected and is still affecting the life of people in my extended family. On a scientific perspective, I have always been fascinated by the challenge that represents finding a cure for such a complex disease.
What do you enjoy most about doing research and what are some of the challenges you face?
I have always enjoyed working hand to hand with students in the lab. Although I must admit that I’m not doing physical work in the lab on a daily basis anymore, I always try to interact with my research team members to give them the support and feedback they need to make their project a success. While research can sometimes be frustrating, working towards a common goal with an entire team of people that you like is very stimulating and rewarding.
How important is the support from the MS Society in enabling you to conduct research?
There are no doubts in my mind that the continuous support of donors is the main reason why many promising therapies are currently under investigation in clinical trials for MS. As far as I know, there are probably more therapies being tested for MS at the moment than for any other disease of the nervous system, and this would not have been possible without the generosity of donors who have contributed to the MS Society. With regard to our own work pertaining to the role of the IL-1 system in MS, it would just not be possible to conduct such research without the financial support of MSSC in the form of an operating grant.
If you could ask one question to a person living with MS that would help you design your study, what would it be?
For RRMS patients: How much time elapses between your ability to detect a relapse (and see your neurologist) and the peak of the relapse?