Testimony of Patrice Brion

Mr. Patrice Brion, former General Manager of a branch at Valeo, now retired, testifies to his commitment to the Imagine Institute. Having met the Institute almost by chance, he recounts his experience as a donor to Imagine and, as such, a member of the first selection committee for the Imagine-Necker call for clinical research projects on rare diseases.

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My story with Imagine began in 2014, when the Institute building was being constructed right across the street from my apartment.


Curious and with a head full of questions, I contacted the people in charge of the real estate project and discovered that this new building was going to house a foundation dedicated to medical research to fight against genetic diseases. 

I am passionate about the origin of the universe, the appearance of life, the development of species, and therefore inevitably about genetics. I was won over by the efficiency of the work carried out by Imagine, and particularly by the direct contact of the research doctors with the sick children and their families.

I actively supported Imagine for 4 years, during which I was able to meet researchers and attend the "Research Breakfasts" that they hosted.

I found strong similarities in the functioning of the Institute with the study and research centers that I supervised at Valéo: the selection of projects and the efficiency of the use of funds were major concerns.

And I know how difficult it is to find funding for research.

So for me it was also a natural decision to help, at my level, by encouraging among my network of potential new donors to also support Imagine.

Patrice Brion

I therefore organized a visit to the Institute for former Valéo managers, whose Association I still chair.

Visiting the Institute means seeing the actions of researchers in the field in concrete terms, and realizing what donations make possible, which is fundamental when you are a donor.

At the beginning of 2021, the Institute's donor service contacted me again to ask me to take part in the selection panel for a call for clinical research projects on rare genetic diseases.

The objective was to rigorously select two to three future projects supported by Imagine and the Hôpital Necker-Enfants malades. Even though I am not an expert in genetics and have no medical training, I immediately accepted, happy to be able to invest myself again in a noble cause of scientific projects.

The experience was very enriching. I was welcomed with attention within a high level scientific community and above all I understood the projects which were presented with concision and clarity. Of course, some points inevitably escaped me, but I really appreciated the rational organization and the concern to include me in the process. It was very professional.

I gave my first vote to a project whose leader is so scientifically rigorous that you think "I have to go, he knows what he's talking about and he's going to do it". The second project was the choice of the heart. It touched me deeply. It was 100% emotional because of the emotion, sincerity and empathy shown by the researcher.

I am thrilled because these are the two projects that will be funded. Now I really wish to know if they will succeed in the long term. In any case, I wish them the best. We are with you: the objective is to succeed!

Patrice BRION