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Sylvie Lesage

Lesage, Sylvie

Scientific Director and Full professor


Université de Montréal

Research Axes


Contact information

Phone: 514-252-3400, poste4649


  • Maher Al Khaldi
  • Anne-Marie Aubin
  • Cindy Audiger
  • Andrée Caron
  • Geneviève Chabot-Roy
  • Lise Coderre
  • Adrien Fois
  • Félix Lombard-Vadnais
  • Aïnhoa Olazabal

Sylvie Lesage holds a doctorate in immunology, is the scientific director of the Centre de recherche de l'Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont and heads the Cellular Immunogenetics Research Unit.. She is also a full professor in the Department of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and Immunology at Université de Montréal.

While peripheral T lymphocyte tolerance has shown to significantly contribute to a predisposition to autoimmune diseases, Sylvie Lesage has found that central tolerance plays a major role as well. The goal of her research team is to define the biology and genetics of the cell populations of the immune system that help induce immune tolerance and thus prevent autoimmune diseases.

Research Unit

Cellular Immunogenetics

Our goal is to measure the homeostatic significance of different immune system cell populations to identify each one's impact on the predisposition to complex genetic diseases, such as autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Research interests

This unit also studies:

  • Variations in subpopulations of T lymphocytes, natural killer cells and dendritic cells in various mouse lines.
  • The understanding of the dynamics of immune system cell populations.
  • The impact of genetic mutations that cause monogenic diseases, such as lactic acidosis and Li-Fraumeni syndrome, on immune system homeostasis.

These studies will serve as a springboard for translational research to restore immune balance and prevent the onset or slow the progression of various autoimmune diseases and lymphoid cancers. To achieve these goals, we use a variety of technologies: transgenic and congenic mice, cell immunology, multiparameter flow cytometry, and genetic polymorphism analysis.

  • Guimont-Desrochers, F., Boucher, G., Dong, Z., Dupuis, M., Veillette, A., Lesage, S. Redefining interferon-producing killer dendritic cells as a novel intermediate in NK cell differentiation. 2012. Blood 119, 4349-4357. Highlighted as “Plenary Paper” by the journal. See also: Inside Blood, Zitvogel, L. & Housseau, F. Blood 119, 4345-4346 (2012).
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  • Chognard, G., Bellemare, L., Pelletier, A.N., Dominguez-Punaro, M.C., Beauchamp, C., Guyon, M.J., Charron, G., Morin, N., Sivanesan, D., Kuchroo, V., Xavier, R., Michnick, S.W., Chemtob, S., Rioux, J.D., Lesage, S. The dichotomous pattern of IL-12R and IL-23R expression elucidates the role of IL-12 and IL-23 in inflammation. 2014. Plos One. 9(2):e89092. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089092.
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  • Collin, R., Dugas, V., Pelletier, A.N., Chabot-Roy, G., Lesage, S. The mouse Idd2 locus is linked to the proportion of immunoregulatory DN T cells, a trait associated with autoimmune diabetes resistance. 2014. J. Immunol. 193(7): 3503-3512. Recommended by the Faculty of 1000.
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  • Collin, R., Dugas, V., Chabot-Roy, G., Salem, D., Zahn, A., Di Noia, J.M., Rauch, J., Lesage, S. Autoimmunity and antibody affinity maturation are modulated by genetic variants on mouse chromosome 12. 2015. J. Autoimmun. 58 : 90-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2015.01.007.
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  • Pelletier, A.N., Guilbault, L., Guimont-Desrochers, F., Hillhouse, E.E., Lesage, S. NK cell proportion and number is influenced by genetic loci on chromosomes 8, 9 and 17. 2016. J.Immunol. 196: 2627-2636. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1502284.
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  • Senior postdoctoral fellowship

    Université de Montréal

  • Postdoctoral fellowship

    Australian National University

  • PhD in immunology

    McGill University

  • BSc in immunology

    McGill University


  • 2019 Research Scholar Emeritus  (FRQS)
  • 2015 Senior Research Scholar  (FRQS)
  • 2010 New Investigator Award  (CIHR)
  • 2007 Junior 1 Research scholar  (FRQS)
  • 2002 Career development grant  (CIHR)
  • 1999 Postdoctoral fellowship award  (IRSC)
  • 1995 Graduate award  (FRQS)