Anomaly of the embryonic development : The Head and Heart Chair


Malformations are the most important cause of death and hospitalization among children in developed countries. They can be life-threatening and have a considerable impact on the daily life of patients. These children need innovative medicine and an inclusive society!

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


The Project

The “Head and Heart” program was initiated with the support of the AXA Research Fund. Since January 2023, it is a full-fledged Chair “AXA Head and Heart” thanks to the patronage of Mutuelles d’AXA. The Chair’s goal is to better understand and treat craniofacial and cardiac malformations. To meet this challenge, the Chair is divided into six programs:

  • accelerating the identification of new genes involved in cardiac and craniofacial development
  • innovating in 3D imaging and morphometry on animal models
  • decipher the mechanisms of abnormal development
  • develop innovative therapies
  • attract and train new interdisciplinary talents
  • raise awareness about patient inclusion

It primarily involves 3 research laboratories that combine their expertise in heart defect embryology, defect genetics, and preclinical studies to treat bone defects.

Context & Objectives

Congenital malformations represent a major public health problem (they affect more than 3% of children at birth). The most frequent birth defects are cardiac and craniofacial malformations.

The aim of the “Head and Heart” Chair is to accelerate the identification of the genetic causes of these malformations, to understand the dysfunctional mechanisms and to develop innovative targeted therapies. These innovations can of course change the lives of the sick children treated at Institut Imagine, but they will also help build the medicine of tomorrow.

Amount to fund
3,000 K€
Overall funding

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

This support will be mainly dedicated to :

/ strategic recruitment in the field of craniofacial and cardiac malformations research.

/ acquisitions of state-of-the-art equipment.

These investments are essential to accelerate scientific and societal advances that will directly benefit patients and their families.