Photo of Stephen J. Crocker, Ph.D.

Stephen J. Crocker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Neuroscience
Director, Neuroscience Graduate Program
Academic Office Location:
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
Phone: 860-679-8750

Crocker Lab

Neuroscience Graduate Program

B.Sc.University of King's CollegeBiology
Ph.D.University of OttawaPharmacology
PostdocOttawa Hospital Research InstituteNeurodegeneration
PostdocThe Scripps Research InstituteNeuropharmacology
PostdocThe Scripps Research InstituteImmunology

Post-Graduate Training
FellowshipOntario Neurotrauma FoundationPostdoctoral Fellowship
FellowshipNational Multiple Sclerosis Advanced Postdoctoral Fellowship
PostdoctoralNeuroscience Research InstituteNeuroscience
PostdoctoralThe Scripps Research Institute Neuropharmacology
PostdoctoralThe Scripps Research InstituteImmunology

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Osborn Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching in Biomedical ScienceThe Graduate School, UConn Health
National Multiple Sclerosis Society Career Transition Award (2007-2011)National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Dale McFarlin Travel Award National Multiple Sclerosis Society
International Outstanding Young Investigator Award ICCP
Bronze MedalOttawa Life Sciences Conference
Jock Cleghorn Award. Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CCNP)
Summer Studentship Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
NIH Study Section - Standing Member Cellular and Molecular Biology of Glia (CMBG) Study Section. 3 year appointmentStudy SectionStanding MemberExternalNational20232026
Congressionally Directed Medical Research Fund (CDMRF) Study Panel for research on Multiple Sclerosis (a.k.a. "DoD")Study SectionChairExternalInternational2022
Animal Services Advisory CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeChairUConn HealthUniversity2022
National Multiple Sclerosis Society Biomedical Research Committee AStudy SectionChairExternalInternational20212022
Student Behavioral Health CommitteeEducation CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity2021
Neuroscience Graduate ProgramEducation CommitteeDirectorUConn HealthUniversity2020
Medical School Admissions CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeCommittee Member/ReviewerUConn HealthUniversity2019
Graduate Programs CommitteeEducation CommitteeMember - Neuroscience AoC RepresentativeUConn HealthLocal2018
Health Center Faculty Review BoardAdvisory CommitteeMemberUConn HealthLocal20182022
Journal of Neuroscience ResearchProfessional/Scientific JournalAssociate EditorExternalInternational20182022
Curriculum Committee - UCHC Graduate SchoolEducation CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity2018
Neurochemistry InternationalEditorial BoardEditorial Advisory Board MemberExternalInternational20172022
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)OtherChairUConn HealthLocal20162025
Government Relations Committee (GRC) NMSSCommunity ServiceMemberExternalState20162025
Representative of Connecticut at National Multiple Sclerosis Public Policy ConferenceCommunity ServiceMember/RepresentativeExternalNational2016
American Association of Neuropathologists Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational2005
American Society of Neurochemistry Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational2003
Society for Neuroscience Professional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalNational1999

My lab is interested in how the immune and nervous systems interact and how this balance is disrupted by disease.

Specifically, my research program has centered around the role of glia in the context of immunity and myelin physiology during development and disease. Several recent studies provide an overview of current research projects in my lab, namely understanding human disease using induced pluripotent stem cells a a disease model (Nicaise et al. 2019 Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci USA), exploring the function of extracellular vesicles in CNS pathophysiology (Willis et al. 2020 Sci Rep; Willis et al. 2019 Proc. Natl. Acad Sci. USA).

We have several projects now exploring the role of cellular senescence, a process associated with aging, on myelin and remyelination in models of multiple sclerosis.

We also also actively studying the contributions of glia and immune cell types to a genetic demyelinating disease, Globoid cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe disease), with a focus on the role of CD8 T cells. We have determined that this fatal genetic disease elicits a profound yet previously undescribed neuroimmunological component, which could lead to novel treatment options for GLD patients.

Most of our studies are translational as we seek to identify fundamental processes related to glial functions and how these may impact the disease and physiology. For instance, we have an active project examining how CNS myelin controls bladder function as the vast majority of MS patients suffer from incontinence and bladder infections are a leading cause of hospitalization in this patient population.

There are research opportunities to study and learn about our projects (as described above), for PhD, MS, MD and MD/PhD candidates.

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023


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