Anomalies in the Embryonic Development : the Head and Heart Chair


Birth defects are the largest cause of death and hospitalization among children in developed countries.
They can threaten the vital prognosis and have a considerable impact on the everyday life of patients. These children need innovative care and an inclusive society!

Prof. Jeanne Amiel, Medical Researcher, Specialist in these malformations


The Project

The “Head and Heart” project, initiated with the support of the AXA Research Fund, aims to better understand and treat craniofacial and heart malformations.

To meet this challenge, the project is divided into six programs:

  • accelerating the identification of new genes implicated in heart and craniofacial development
  • innovating in 3D imaging and morphometry in animal models
  • deciphering the mechanisms of an abnormal development
  • developing innovative therapies
  • attracting and training new interdisciplinary talents
  • raising public awareness for the inclusion of patients.

It mainly involves 3 research laboratories combining their expertise in embryology of cardiac malformations, genetics of malformations, and preclinical studies to treat bone defects.

Context & Objectives

Birth defects are a major public health problem (which affect more than 3% of children at birth). The most common at birth are cardiac and craniofacial malformations.
The aim of the “Head and Heart” Chair is to accelerate the identification of the genetic causes for these malformations, the comprehension of dysfunctional mechanisms, and to develop targeted innovative therapies. These are all innovations that can, of course, change the lives of sick children treated at the Institut Imagine, but which also contribute to building the medicine of tomorrow.

Amount to fund
1,500 K€
Overall funding

/ For recruitment

/ For equipment acquisitions

/ For research expenses

The Head and Heart Chair is supported by the Mécénat des Mutuelles AXA, as the main patron.