The Patronage Chairs at Imagine

Thanks to the generosity of committed philanthropists in France and abroad (individuals, corporate sponsors, corporate or family foundations, investment funds, etc.), the Imagine Patronage Chairs aim to respond to major public health issues by conducting collaborative and translational research programs with a strong societal impact. Over a period of 3 to 5 years, the Chairs at Imagine lead to decisive scientific advances with the ultimate goal of changing the lives of sick children and their families.


Respond to major public health issues through 4 pillars 

The patronage chairs at Imagine have been created around four main themes, each of which, in its own way, will lead to major scientific and medical advances:


phenotyping, diagnosing, understanding and innovating

CARE and TREATMENT improve patient care, pave the way for new therapeutic treatments
EDUCATION improve fundamental knowledge, develop expertise and attract new talent, train and ensure the scientific succession of tomorrow
ACCESS "TO AND FOR" ALL to raise awareness, inform, share knowledge and the hope of research, and promote the inclusion of the most vulnerable

The Chairs deployed today at Imagine with the support of our donors

Chair Geen-DS - Solutions for genetic epileptic encephalopathy and neurodevelopmental disorders

Chair directed by Rima Nabbout (2022 - 3 years). With the support of the FAMA Fund.

With more than 500,000 people in France affected, epilepsy is the neurological disease that affects the most people in Europe. In nearly 25% of cases, seizures are not the only manifestation of the disease. In some children, these seizures are accompanied by intellectual and cognitive deficiencies, behavioral problems and, in some cases, motor disorders. They may present a high risk of sudden and unexpected death. These rare and very disabling forms of epilepsy - called "epileptic and developmental encephalopathies" (EED) - are due to different types of etiologies, including genetic defects in the voltage-dependent channels, cellular structures that ensure the propagation of nerve signals in the brain.

The Geen-DS Chair aims to understand the mechanisms of this disease in order to accelerate and innovate the development of therapies.

Chair of tailored Medicine

Thanks to the support of the House of Christian Dior, directed by Marina Cavazzana (2017-2020 - 4 years, renewed in 2022 for 4 years).

The introduction of a gene, capable of replacing the defective gene, into hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and transplantation in patients with inherited hematological disorders is an effective strategy to repopulate with functional immune cells. However, this strategy still needs to be refined and various technical challenges remain to further extend the use of gene therapy to other diseases.

The Dior Chair of tailored Medicine aims to build tomorrow's medicine by inventing personalized gene therapy, combining the expertise in gene therapy of Prof. Marina Cavazzana with that in computational biology available at the Institut Imagine.

DEVO-Decode" Chair or exploring the dark matter of the genome

With the support of the MSD Avenir Foundation (2017 - 5.5 years)

For a long time, all efforts have been focused on the coding regions of DNA, those containing genes and constituting the information necessary for the production of proteins, which are essential for the functioning of our organism and the structure of our cells. However, they only make up 2% of the genome. Long unknown, once considered useless, the role of non-coding regions, which represent some 98% of our genome, is becoming increasingly important.

Eight platforms, eight research teams, including that of Professor Yanick Crow, and eight Imagine rare disease reference centers, coordinated by Stanislas Lyonnet, are working on this task.

The DEVO-Decode Chair, an ambitious research program, aims to explore the dark matter of the genome or the role of non-coding DNA in the genome and genetic diseases, with a view to identifying the genetic causes of currently undiagnosed genetic diseases and, in the longer term, new therapeutic approaches.

Themes that could lead to the creation of future Chairs at Imagine

Developmental neurogenetics on learning disorders (currently in the launch phase at Imagine), Head and Heart on craniofacial malformations (currently in the launch phase at Imagine), Vision, Genetics of autism spectrum disorders in children, Health-Design, Image and Surgery of genetic diseases, Innovative therapies, Organoids

If you wish to support a Chair at Imagine

Do not hesitate to contact us:

Nathalie Borel Head of Patronage Chairs 01 42 75 46 61