Imagery and genetics


It is thanks to research in imaging that we can imagine new treatments, evaluate their effectiveness and make a surgical procedure the most effective, the least invasive and the least harmful possible.

Nathalie Boddaert, Head of the Radiology Department at the Necker-Enfants malades Hospital

The Project

The “Image@Imagine” laboratory, directed by Prof. Nathalie Boddaert, is located at the crossroads of research on genetic diseases and clinical care of children: it is both a research laboratory in brain imaging and a platform in pediatric imaging.

Its MRI contributes to the deployment of the Institut Imagine‘s projects in neurodevelopment and neurosurgery. This concerns numerous genetic diseases such as dystonia or neurodegenerative diseases, but also unfortunately more frequent diseases such as childhood brain cancer or even certain forms of autism. It allows us to accelerate research, while treating more patients, through innovative approaches, such as laser surgery or gene therapy.

Context & Objectives

The MRI of the associated laboratory “Image@Imagine” is particularly used as a therapeutic evaluation tool in pediatric brain tumors. The laboratory uses both anatomical and functional imaging in epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders in children. The goal is to better understand physiological disorders and to have a biomarker in imaging, particularly in autism. The links between imaging and genetics are essential.

For example, the Image@Imagine team of Prof. Nathalie Boddaert has had a key role in the laboratory of Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, directed by Vincent Cantagrel.

Image@Imagine, which accelerates diagnosis, also becomes a therapeutic tool, especially when certain genetic diseases generate tumors requiring high-precision surgery. Surgeons are using a pioneering procedure to “burn”, with a laser, brain tumors in children that are deemed inoperable with the help of the MRI as a guide.

Amount to fund
1,500 K€
Overall funding

/ To recruit engineers

/ To acquire technological tools and material needed to use the MRI