Open to the world

Since its founding, Imagine, which is now the number one center for research, care, and education on genetic diseases in Europe, has opened up to the outside world. Through forming national and international partnerships and by hosting researchers from around the world, Imagine plays a key role in the rich environment that it is a part of.

Imagine Institute

Since its opening, Imagine has expanded its expertise and knowledge by partnering with hospitals, research centers, and universities both nationally and internationally. The Institute is advised by a scientific board made up of global experts recognized in their field and is located on the campus of the Necker-Enfants malades hospital AP-HP, a world leader in medical care for children. Every year the Institute hosts researchers and future researchers from around the world. Nearly 20% of the staff do not come from France and 35 nationalities are represented.

Since its founding, Imagine has recruited 8 new teams, 6 of which are managed by researchers who are foreign or of foreign origin. In October 2018, Imagine’s scientific advisory board confirmed the need to continue and perhaps even increase recruitment from abroad in order to form international teams. International recruitment guarantees a diversity of views and opinions which accelerates advances in research.

Forming exceptional academic partnerships

Research is collaborative by nature. Many international collaborations between research teams exist. These types of collaborations allow teams to develop cutting-edge programs which is why the Institute has created two partnership labs outside of France:

  • The human genetics of infectious diseases lab of Prof. Jean-Laurent Casanova and Dr Laurent Abel which is located at Imagine and at the Rockefeller Institute in New-York,
  • The laboratory of neurogenetics and neuroinflammation of Prof. Yannick Crow which is partly located in London.
  • From 2010 to 2016, the Institute also worked with the French-Moroccan International Associated Laboratory (LIA) of genetics managed by Prof. Abdelaziz Sefiani in Rabat.

The Institute has already signed several international collaboration agreements with the goal of expanding its collaborative international work and hosts visits from international universities, research centers and hospitals in hopes of fostering future collaborations.

To this end, a Memorandum of Understanding on future scientific and academic collaborations was signed with His Highness Prince Turki Bin Saud, president of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology of Saudi Arabia. A partnership was initiated with Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Doha, Qatar to identify common themes in tenders.

The I3 program (Imagine International Initiative) is a program dedicated to forming scientific and academic collaborations and implementing the Imagine model in other countries, following the example of our two initiatives Imagine@Rabat, in Morocco in partnership with Abulcasis University and the Sheikh Zaïd Foundation, or Imagine@Beirut, in partnership with the French University Saint-Joseph.

Training future researchers from around the world

The Imagine Institute also welcomes students, future researchers and future doctors from all over the world through our International PhD program supported by the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation. Every year, at least 3 international PhD students come to train at Imagine. Collaboration agreements for education programs with Guangzhou Children’s Hospital in China and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) in Doha, Qatar aim to expand this program.

What’s more, every year post-doc students from all over the world join Imagine to continue their research training.


Spreading knowledge

Every year, the Imagine Institute provides dozens of international lectures and classes hosted by the Institute as well as other universities and research centers. The sessions disseminate knowledge and expertise in the field of genetic diseases.

Since 2017, Imagine has also hosted the Eurodis Winter School: for one week, patient representatives from all over Europe gather at the Institute to discuss innovation, translational research, and potential benefits for patients with rare diseases.