• Médecine

Paris Brain Institute

MU 75

  • Unité de recherche

Founded in 2010 and located in the heart of the Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital, the first neurology center in France, the ICM represents a strong link between fundamental research and the clinical world. The Institute gathers more than 700 researchers and clinicians, 10 cutting-edge core facilities and 1000m² dedicated to startup incubation. Its aim is to produce ambitious research by combining scientific creativity and therapeutic purpose. Its innovative model brings together patients, doctors and researchers in a transversal approach of research that promotes collaborations and accelerates the discovery of medical innovations. Partnerships between the public and private sectors at the ICM have allowed to rapidly translate discoveries into therapeutic solutions for patients. Since 2017, the ICM is the first health partner of Station F, providing a competitive advantage in the field of connected health.


ICM is organized in four major fields: molecular and cellular, neurophysiology, cognition, clinical and translational. High flexibility between these fields is a cornerstone of our scientific and medical development.

ICM teams working in the field of molecular and cellular science are involved in a collaborative effort to understand normal brain and spinal cord development as well as what leads to their malfunction in neurological and psychiatric illness. Teams are focused on deciphering how genetics play a role, on dissecting molecular mechanisms, identifying the role of different cell types, and understanding complex cellular interactions in normal and pathological conditions.

The team working in this field aim at achieving a better understanding of neuron physiology and networks in normal and pathological conditions. They share approaches based on molecular and cellular processes, electrophysiological and optic recording, optogenetics and neural activity manipulation using transcranial magnetic stimulation, as well as IT models to link physiological recordings together.

The teams in this research areas combine structural, electrophysiological, and functional studies to understand how neural networks function in the brain and their role in behavior and cognitive processes in both healthy individuals and patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders.

The main objective in this research area is to develop markers and therapy for neurological and psychiatric diseases, from identification on simple models in laboratories to clinical trials with patients at ICM’s Clinical Investigation Center and throughout the Institute. Breakthroughs in this field are achieved in close collaboration with other areas at ICM.

The 25 teams of the ICM

ALS Causes and mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration

Séverine Boillée

Domains : Molecular and Cellular; Clinical and Translational

Séverine BOILLEE’s team investigates mechanisms of motor neuron (MN) degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) resulting from pathological interactions between MNs and microglia/macrophages to find therapeutically promising pathways to slow disease progression.


Basic to Translational Neurogenetics

Giovanni Stevanin and Alexandra Durr

Domains : Molecular and Cellular; Clinical and Translational

Alexandra DURR & Giovanni STEVANIN’s team focus on two groups of neurogenetic diseases, spinocerebellar degenerations – SCD (spastic paraplegias and cerebellar ataxias) and frontotemporal lobar degenerations – FTLD. These rare conditions share clinical, genetic and functional characteristics, such as motor neuron dysfunction but are extremely heterogeneous both in molecular and clinical aspects.

Molecular Pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease

Olga Corti and Jean-Christophe Corvol

Domains : Molecular and Cellular; Clinical and Translational

Olga CORTI & Jean-Christophe CORVOL’s team proposes a multidimensional clinical, genetic/genomic and cell biology-based program aimed at deciphering and integrating the molecular heterogeneity and biological complexity of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) towards translation to clinical research.

Alzheimer’s disease and prion diseases

Marie-Claude Potier and Stéphane Haïk

Domains : Molecular and Cellular; Clinical and Translational

Marie-Claude Potier’s and Stéphane Haïk’s Team aims at understanding the role of lipids, particularly cholesterol and ApoE, in the secretion and neuronal transport, of AB, their involvement in endosomal modifications that occur early during the course of the disease and novel mechanisms of AB toxicity identified in vivo.

Experimental Therapeutics of Parkinson Disease

Étienne Hirsch and Stéphane Hunot

Domain : Molecular and Cellular

Etienne HIRSCH & Stéphane HUNOT’s team aims to understand the mechanisms underlying disease progression in Parkinson Disease (PD) and to identify and validate new disease-modifying treatments.

Normal and abnormal motor control: movement disorders and experimental therapeutics

Marie Vidailhet and Stéphane Lehéricy

Domains : Neurophysiology; Clinical and Translational

Marie VIDAILHET & Stéphane LEHÉRICY’s team aims at further investigating network dysfunctions in movement and behavioral disorders using translational, neuroimaging, neurophysiological, and genetic/metabolic approaches from animals to patients.

Cellular physiology of cortical microcircuits

Alberto Bacci

Domain : Neurophysiology

Alberto Bacci’s team investigates the microcircuits of the cerebral cortex. In particular, the team is interested in the synaptic and plasticity properties of synapses originating from a highly diverse population of neurons forming stereotyped cortical circuits. To this aim, the lab uses a battery of ex vivo and in vivo neurophysiological approaches.

Network dynamics and cellular excitability

Stéphane Charpier, Mario Chavez and Vincent Navarro

Domains : Neurophysiology; Clinical and Translational

Stéphane CHARPIER, Mario CHAVEZ & Vincent NAVARRO ’s team investigates how the brain can become epileptic (epileptogenesis), how it produces seizures (ictogenesis), and the relationship between neurophysiological activities and clinical semiology. In addition, the team investigates extreme brain conditions with abnormal and sustained electrical activities (isoelectric status and status epilepticus).

Genetics and physiopathology of epilepsy

Éric Leguern and Stéphanie Baulac

Domains : Molecular and Cellular; Clinical and Translational

Stéphanie BAULAC & Eric LEGUERN’s team investigates the focal epilepsies linked to mTORC1 pathway, Focal cortical dysplasias, epileptic encephalopathies and genetic generalized epilepsies.

Sensory Spinal Signaling

Claire Wyart

Domains : Neurophysiology; Molecular and Cellular

Claire Wyart’s team investigates the neuromodulatory pathway coming from the brain and within the spinal cord and its effects on locomotion and posture. The team is interested in the circuits referred to as reticulospinal neurons (RSNs) that trigger locomotion in the hindbrain.

Genetics and development of brain tumors

Emmanuelle Huillard and Marc Sanson

Domains : Molecular and Cellular; Clinical and Translational

Marc SANSON & Emmanuelle HUILLARD’s team proposes to identify new mutations and biomarkers, and understand the development of brain tumors.

Repair in Multiple Sclerosis: from biology to clinical translation

Catherine Lubetzki and Bruno Stankoff

Domains : Molecular and Cellular; Clinical and Translational

Brahim NAIT OUMESMAR & Violetta ZUJOVIC’s team aims at providing better insight into the mechanisms of myelin plasticity and regeneration. Compelling evidences indicate that oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) sense neuronal activity and immune cells signaling, highlighting the importance of these crosstalk’s in (re)-myelination.

Myelin Plasticity and Regeneration

Brahim Nait-Oumesmar and Violetta Zujovic

Domains : Molecular and Cellular; Clinical and Translational

Brahim NAIT OUMESMAR & Violetta ZUJOVIC’s team aims at providing better insight into the mechanisms of myelin plasticity and regeneration. Compelling evidences indicate that oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) sense neuronal activity and immune cells signaling, highlighting the importance of these crosstalk’s in (re)-myelination.

Physiological investigation of clinically normal and impaired cognition

Laurent Cohen, Lionel Naccache and Paolo Bartolomeo

Domains : Cognition; Clinical and Translational

Laurent COHEN, Lionel NACCACHE & Paolo BARTOLOMEO’s team explores the neural bases of cognitive functions in humans. They work with both healthy and brain-damaged persons, using behavioral methods and a full panel of brain imaging techniques (anatomical,  functional and diffusion-based MRI, EEG, MEG, intracerebral recordings). Their goal is not only the fundamental deciphering of cognitive functions, but also the development of clinically useful tools for the diagnosis and rehabilitation of patients.

Frontal functions and pathology

Richard Lévy

Domains : Cognition; Clinical and Translational

Richard LEVY’s team aims to better understand the role and organization of the PreFrontal Cortex (PFC) in the control, in activatory and inhibitory modes, of “willed/voluntary/conscious/goal-directed behaviors”, its role as a controller and its involvement in the most “creative” aspects of thinking and how it functionally and structurally interacts with other brain structures.

CIA : Control- Interoception – Attention

Philippe Fossati and Liane Schmidt

Domains : Cognition; Clinical and Translational

Philippe FOSSATI & Liane SCHMIDT ’s team aims to understand how cognitive control processes integrate external and internal signals, and how this integration takes place on behavioral and neural levels, in healthy subjects and patients with impaired cognitive control (i.e., in depression and obesity).

Neurophysiology of Repetitive Behaviors

Éric Burguière

Domains : Neurophysiology; Cognition

Eric BURGUIERE’s team aims to implement an ambitious translational approach to characterize neurofunctional basis of normal and pathological repetitive behaviors. The main focus of the team is to study neurophysiological dynamics underlying the automatization of motivated behaviours and its contextual adaptation. The team has access to both patients and animal models suffering from pathological repetitive behaviors.

Motivation, brain and behavior

Mathias Pessiglione, Sébastien Bouret and Jean Daunizeau

Domain : Cognition

Mathias PESSIGLIONE, Jean DAUNIZEAU & Sébastien BOURET’s team aims to build a neuro-computational model of how the brain motivates behavior, which would explain irrational behaviors in the normal population, and motivational disorders in pathological conditions.

Algorithms, Models and Methods for Images and Signals of the Human Brain

Olivier Colliot and Stanley Durrleman

Domain : Clinical and Translational

Olivier COLLIOT & Stanley DURRLEMAN’s team, the ARAMIS team aims to build numerical models of brain diseases from multimodal patient data based on the development of specific data-driven approaches

Experimental neurosurgery

Brian Lau and Carine Karachi

Domains : Neurophysiology; Clinical and Translational

Brain LAU & Carine KARACHI’s team aims to characterize the subcortico-cortical anatomy and physiology of brainnetworks involved in motor control, with the long-term goal of developing new therapies including novel applications of deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Brain Development

Bassem Hassan

Domain : Molecular and Cellular

Bassem HASSAN’s team investigates the formation of neurons and neural circuits during brain development, focusing on the transcriptional control of stem cells fate during early neurogenesis in Drosophila and mouse, and the emergence of individuality in Drosophila visual circuits and behavior.

Structural dynamics of neuronal networks

Nicolas Renier

Domain : olecular and Cellular

Nicolas RENIER’s plans to develop and use cutting-edge 3D whole brain imaging and genetic tools aimed at elucidating how neuronal networks in the adult brain can be rewired at a large scale.

Cellular mechanisms of sensory processing

Nelson Rebola

Domain : Neurophysiology

Nelson REBOLA ‘s team aims to understand how the diversity in synaptic properties found between communicating neurons shapes information processing in the brain. Presently the team is investigating how variability in biophysical properties and synaptic densities of a particular subtype of glutamate receptor, the NMDA receptor, in somatosensory neurons impacts the processing of sensory information.

Gene Therapy

Nathalie Cartier

Domains : Clinical and Translational; Molecular and Cellular

Nathalie CARTIER’s team develops gene therapy strategies for severe neurodegenerative diseases including Huntington’s disease, Spinocerebellar ataxias, Alzheimer’s disease and genetic leukodystrophies. Research includes proof of concept in animal models and translational steps to clinical applications.

Molecular physiology of synaptic bioenergetics

Jaime De Juan-Sanz

Domains : Neurophysiology ; Molecular and Cellular

Jaime DE JUAN-SANZ’s team investigates mitochondrial dysfunction as a primary cause in epilepsy. Mitochondria plays a pivotal role for neuronal function, controlling three fundamental mechanisms that are essential for neuronal biology and synaptic transmission: 1) ATP production, 2) Ca2+ homeostasis and 3) apoptotic cell death. Using cutting-edge optical techniques to study bioenergetics in firing synapses in combination with precise metabolic and genetic manipulations, the team will work on developing a detailed molecular understanding of the role of synaptic mitochondrial metabolism in controlling neuronal function in health and disease.


  • Alexis BRICE

General secretary

  • Corinne FORTIN

Autres tutelles

  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique | CNRS
  • Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale | INSERM
  • Sorbonne Université


Adresse postale

Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière – ICM - Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière - 47, boulevard de l’Hôpital
CS 21 414 – 75646 Paris Cedex 13
Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière – ICM
Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière – ICM