Visit of the President of the Republic to Institut Imagine

President Emmanuel Macron chose Institut Imagine to present his vision for health research and innovation for the coming years. He also wished to pay tribute to the exceptional work of the laboratories of this Mecca for research on genetic diseases, which have not hesitated to embark on the scientific and medical race against COVID-19, and have thus enabled a better understanding of the origin of the serious forms of the disease.

Published on 04.12.2020

Imagine Institute

Arrivée EMacron

Founded in 2007, Imagine was the 1st University Hospital Institute to be accredited in 2011 under the Investment for the Future Program. Institut Imagine is a perfect illustration of the State's investment strategy and its success, which most certainly prevailed in the choice of the President of the Republic to come here to announce his health research and innovation policy for the years to come, and to launch a place dedicated to innovation and digital health, and which is proof of concept.


Imagine, an illustration of the success of the public-private model

Supported by its six founding members*, Imagine brings together more than 1,000 doctors and researchers in a single site worldwide, inaugurated in 2014, around a mission: to change the lives of children and families affected by genetic diseases. Today, Imagine is the leading center for research, care and teaching on genetic diseases.


The combination of public-private, academic-industrial, research-care-innovation-entrepreneurship is at the heart of our strategy. It is an agile model of openness that makes it possible to reconcile scientific excellence, responsiveness and innovative strength. We are therefore delighted by the President's visit to our Institute today, which demonstrates his commitment and willingness to support our research. ». Imagine is also home to several industrial companies, and has given birth to 6 start-ups that have already raised 25 million euros.  

Pr Stanislas Lyonnet , director of Institut Imagine


Imagine is also home to several industrial companies, and has given birth to 10 start-ups that have already raised 25 million euros. In February 2020, the Institute was also awarded the "Institut Carnot" label by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in recognition of the quality and dynamism of the Imagine Institute's industrial relations.


...In the service, in particular, of one of the greatest challenges of our century: the fight against COVID 19

His agility enabled Imagine to redirect some of its efforts to research against COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic. Given their expertise and know-how, four laboratories at Institut Imagine immediately became involved in this fight. They used their knowledge of genetic diseases to try to better understand COVID-19, some aspects of which are reminiscent of some of the abnormal immune responses they are studying in children with genetic diseases.

Visite EMacron_laboJLcasanova

For example, the laboratories of Jean-Laurent Casanova and Laurent Abel have shown that 15% of severe forms of COVID-19 are due to genetic or immunological abnormalities in the production of type 1 interferons. And Frédéric Rieux-Laucat's laboratory has shown the immunological signature of this neutralization of the interferon system.

These discoveries will make it possible to detect people at risk of developing a serious form of the disease and to treat them better. "These discoveries around COVID-19 in immunology and genetics illustrate once again that research on genetic diseases, even rare ones, has a direct impact on much more frequent diseases, by enriching general scientific knowledge and therefore the understanding of mechanisms", recalls Professor Stanislas Lyonnet.

It is therefore in this unique place, a catalyst for innovation, that President Emmanuel Macron has chosen to present his ambition to build ecosystems at the crossroads of research, innovation and industry, these sectors of the future to strengthen our sovereignty in the field of healthcare.

* Located in the heart of Paris on the campus of Hôpital Necker-Enfants malades AP-HP, Institut Imagine for Genetic Diseases has been supported by six founding members since the creation of Foundation Imagine in 2007: AP-HP, Inserm, Université de Paris, the Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris - Hôpitaux de France and the Paris City Council.