Chair in Genetics of Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Children


A better understanding of autism is a prerequisite for any mechanism-based therapeutic research. At the Institut Imagine, every child is entitled to it:  Scientific progress cannot remain the privilege of a few. Real progress is in the sharing of progress.

Pr Arnold Munnich, President of the Fondation Imagine

The Project

The Chair in Genetics of Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Children is dedicated to research on genomic alterations.

Because the causes of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are still too often unknown, discoveries on the genome often become the beginning of a story. They open a door to diagnosis, genetic counseling, and clinical therapeutic research.

This Chair is structured around 3 axes opening the way to more precise diagnosis, with, ultimately, treatment adapted to each type of ASD, or the development of new treatments.

  • AXIS I
    Identify genes to improve diagnoses by searching for genetic factors in the complex, syndromic, familial, or extreme forms of ASD.
    Provide images of the affected areas of the brains of sick children using new non-invasive tools.
    Decipher mechanisms and determine the brain areas and neuronal disorders responsible for faulty connections.

Context & Objectives

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affect 700,000 people in France and represent a multitude of distinct Neurodevelopmental Disorders. These are now all brought together under the term “Autism Spectrum Disorders” (ASD). Today, it is estimated that a genetic defect is involved in 30 to 35% of children with ASD, but not all patients benefit from such a diagnosis. Additionally, ASD are one of the main causes for patients visits at the Institut Imagine.

The Chair in Genetics of Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Children has already identified several genes involved in the occurrence of ASD. Research continues, but these discoveries at the Institut Imagine pave the way to possible new treatments, offering a brighter horizon for many couples and their children.

Amount to fund
1,500 K€
Overall funding over 5 years

/ For the recruitment of Researchers and Students in the laboratories involved

/ For the acquisition of technological equipment