• portrait of Julie Lajoie
  • Assistant professor/
    F​​​​​​rancis A. Plummer Professorship in Global Infectious Diseases

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
    Room 536-538 – 745 Bannatyne Avenue
    Basic Medical Sciences Building
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0J9


Cross appointments

Does not hold any cross-appointments.

Research achievements

Research summary

Dr. Lajoie's research program focuses on understanding how hormones and biological sex affect the immune response and our susceptibility to infectious diseases especially in HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. 

Dr.Lajoie's current projects are: 

  • determining the impact of the stress hormone-cortisol on T cell immune response;
  • determining how hormonal contraception impact the immune response with a focus on DMPA and HIV; and
  • determining how the different phases of the menstrual cycle impacts a woman’ immune response. 

Her team concentrates on identifying changes in the immune response and inflammation at the systemic and mucosal compartment with a focus on the female genital tract. An important part of Dr. Lajoie's research program is conducted in collaboration with female sex workers from the Sex Worker Outreach Program in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Research themes

    • sex hormones (progesterone and estrogen) 
    • stress-hormones
    • cellular mediated immunology 
    • mucosal immunology at the female genital tract 
    • immunology-susceptibility to HIV infection 
    • HPV immunology 
    • inflammation
  • Keywords

    • hormones
    • T cell
    • inflammation,
    • female genital tract
    • HIV
  • Research affiliations

    Visiting lecturer, University of Nairobi


Brief biography

Dr.Lajoie obtained her Bachelor in Sciences biologiques orientation Microbiologie et Immunologie, in 2000 from the University de Montréal. Since the beginning of her graduate studies, she has been working on sexually transmitted viral diseases.

From 2001-2003, she did her master degree in microbiology and immunology with Dr. Michel Roger as supervisor, at the Centre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal(CHUM). Her master's was done in collaboration with the Zvitambo group and her thesis was about the study of TAP (TAP1 and TAP2) gene polymorphisms in relation with susceptibility to HIV in Zimbabwean women. 

In 2005, she started a PhD in virology and immunology at the Université de Montréal, looking at the mucosal innate immunity in HIV-resistant women, under the supervision of Dr. Roger and Dr. Annie-Claude Labbé. Her PhD study aimed to understand how HLA-G polymorphisms and mucosal immunology impacted the susceptibility to HIV infection female sex workers from Benin. She graduated in 2010, on the dean honour list.

In 2010, she started a post-doctoral fellowship in Dr. Keith Fowke’s lab at the University of Manitoba. The project she developed during that time was to determine if the phenomenon of natural resistant to HIV infection observed in Kenyan female sex workers was also present at the female genital tract. During that time, she also graduated from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) International Infectious Disease and Global Health training program.

From 2013 to July 2023, she was a research associate in Dr. Keith Fowke’s lab. She coordinated clinical and clinical trial studies on HIV prevention and hormonal contraception impact on HIV susceptibility. 

Knowledge translation is extremely important for Dr. Lajoie. She is actively involved in activities with schools and on traditional and social media to fight misinformation and talk about health science.


Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Manitoba (2010-2013)

Doctor of philosophy in virology and immunology from Université de Montréal (2004-2010)

  • Research subject: Investigation of mucosal innate immunity in HIV-resistant women
  • Director: Dr. Michel Roger; Co-director: Dr. Annie-Claude Labbée

Master of science in microbiology and immunology from Université de Montréal (2001-2003)

  • Research title: Exploration of TAP (Transporter Associated with Antigen processing) gene polymorphisms and their association with HIV susceptibility in Zimbabwean women
  • Director: Dr. Michel Roger

Bachelor of science in biological sciences with a focus on microbiology and immunology (1997-2000) from Université de Montréal


CIHR Dissemination grant, (Lajoie PI, Fowke nominated PI) (2023-2024)
Bringing together communities and basic science researchers to build stronger relationship

Frank Plummer award (2018)

Grand Challenge Canada-Star in Global Health Round 5 Phase I-Inducing resistance to 
Infection (2014-2016)

Contact us

Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room 543 - 745 Bannatyne Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9 Canada