GénéTalks: conferences for the general public on genetics at the Institut Imagine

Institut Imagine is proposing a series of round tables for the general public throughout the period 2022-2023. Meet us on Tuesday, December 6 at 6:30 pm, at 24 boulevard du Montparnasse, in Paris, for our second GénéTalks roundtable, entitled "The promises of genome editing". Program details and registration below.

Published on 26.09.2022

Imagine Institute

To disseminate knowledge to as many people as possible, to establish a dialogue between scientists and the general public, to discover the issues and challenges of genetics, this is the objective of the GénéTalks, a series of conferences intended for the general public and focused on genetics in the broadest sense.

A total of 5 round tables will be held at the Imagine Institute over the period 2022-2023. Each time, distinguished speakers will be invited to our auditorium to answer all your questions. 

The roundtables are offered in a hybrid format: you can participate in person upon registration at the Institut Imagine (24 boulevard du Montparnasse, Paris 15th); or remotely. Indeed, each round table will be filmed and broadcasted live on our Facebook page and on Zoom. The links will be communicated to you one week before the event. 

Upcoming roundtables: 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 6:30 pm: The promise of genome editing

Click here to register 

In 2020, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier were awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery and implementation of a breakthrough biotechnology: CRISPR-Cas9 DNA scissors. This technique, which makes it possible to "cut" DNA strands at very precise points to modify their sequence, has revolutionized genetics. Since then, new and even more precise technologies are emerging that can change a single letter or sequence of letters without having to cut the DNA. What has been accomplished since this discovery? What are the benefits or can we hope to gain in terms of research and care? What are the technical and ethical limits to their use? Discover with our speakers the promises of DNA editing.

  • Annarita Miccio, Director of the "Chromatin and gene regulation during development" laboratory at Institut Imagine
  • Erika Brunet, Inserm research director in the "Genome Dynamics and Immune System" laboratory at Institut Imagine 
  • Julien Valton, PhD, Vice President "Gene Therapy" at Cellectis 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023, 6:30 pm: When rare diseases shed light on common diseases

A change of a letter in the genetic code can turn a life upside down. One mutation is enough to alter a fundamental biological process, leading, as in a game of dominoes, to a cascade of events leading to a disease. By studying all these steps, by characterizing them precisely, it often happens that this description sheds light on more frequent diseases, bringing into play the same molecular or cellular processes. Thus the study of rare diseases can provide valuable information on diseases such as cancers, musculoskeletal disorders, etc. Valuable information sometimes leading to the discovery of new treatments that would never have seen the light of day without the in-depth study of rare diseases.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 6:30 pm: 20 years of sequencing! How high throughput sequencing has revolutionized medicine. What about tomorrow?

This year (2023), we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first complete sequencing of the human genome. This historic achievement required several years of collaborative, interdisciplinary and above all international work within the framework of the Human Genome Project. At a cost of several billion dollars. Today, we are able to sequence the complete genome of about 50 individuals in only 44 hours thanks to the latest high-throughput sequencing techniques. What have these technologies made it possible to achieve in the last twenty years? What are their strengths and limitations? What new questions do they raise? What do future sequencing technologies hold in store for us? A look back at the history and the future of a disruptive technology.

Thursday, June 8, 2023, 6:30 p.m.: AI, Data and Genetics: how does data promise to accelerate diagnosis?

Genome sequencing and techniques for studying gene expression cell by cell give rise to a large amount of medical data. This data can be cross-referenced with other types of data, particularly "textual" data, such as medical reports.  How can such different types of data be brought together? How could they revolutionize medicine in the context of rare diseases? What are the legal and technical obstacles? What about tomorrow? Come and discover the promises of data science in health.

Return on the last round tables:

Roundtable 1: The ethics of genetic testing

Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 6:30 pm: What your saliva really says about you! The ethics of genetic testing


Companies like 23andMe, MyHeritage, Ancestry or FamilyTreeDNA, offer - for a hundred dollars - to trace your ethnic and geographical origins in exchange for a little saliva. Some of them even offer a health check-up: your sporting predisposition, but also your risk of developing certain types of cancer. These recreational tests pose several problems: first of all, how can they be interpreted without a geneticist doctor to supervise the reading of the results? How to ensure the quality of the genetic analysis? And what is their predictive limit? Discover in this round table the different types of DNA tests that exist, their relevance according to the uses, how, in France, they are very well supervised and authorized only in a medical context, always with the informed consent of the patient and a restitution of the results by a genetic counselor capable of interpreting these complex data.


  • Prof. Marie-France Mamzer, Professor of Ethics and Legal Medicine at the Université Paris Cité. Head of the Functional Unit of Ethics and Forensic Medicine, at the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital (APHP). 
  • Pr Dominique Stoppa Lyonnet, Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet is a physician, Professor of Genetics at the University of Paris Descartes and head of the Genetics Department at the Institut Curie. She is a member of the Oncogenetic Board of the French National Cancer Institute (INCa). She was a member of the Medical and Scientific Council of the Biomedicine Agency (ABM) from 2005 to 2015 and of the National Consultative Ethics Committee (CCNE) from 2005 to 2013.
  • Pr Julie Steffann, Professor of genetics at the Université Paris Cité, responsible for the preimplantation genetic diagnosis of genetic diseases at the Necker Hospital since 2003, and member of the research laboratory on mitochondrial diseases at the Imagine Institute.

See the replay below or click here