Meet the team

Glad you’re making the...move

to get to know us better.

Our story

We are a large multidisciplinary group comprising researchers and clinicians, founded in 2008 and located at the Paris Brain Institute (ICM) since 2011.

We work alongside on the control of normal and abnormal movements from different angles, including behaviour, cognition and development.

Methodologically, we offer multimodal approaches combining imaging, neurophysiology, metabolic and sleep studies.

One of our major strengths is direct access to healthy volunteers and patients alike and contrasting these investigations with more basic/fundamental approaches, such as animal models and computational neuroscience.
Thanks to this broad canvas, we offer all our students and collaborators a unique research environment and work experience, both stimulating and rewarding.

Our teams


Biomarkers and innovative therapies of motor deficits in stroke


Although significant advancements have been reached for the hyper acute phase of stroke, there are still issues to solve, especially after 24 hours and later: (i) the identification of biomarkers for motor recovery and, (ii) the development of new innovative strategies including non-invasive brain stimulation and e-health(digital rehab programs, Do It Yourself, etc..) approaches.

The overall goal of our team is to develop complementary approaches (coupling clinical, neuroimaging and neurophysiological methods) to address these two lines of research(biomarkers and novel innovative strategies). Elucidating the mechanisms of cerebral plasticity during motor recovery is the main component linking our two axes.

Theme 1: Identifying novel structural and functional biomarkers for stroke outcome

Theme 2: Development of innovative therapeutic approaches in recovery

Team PIs


Characterization and treatment of neurometabolic dysfunction


The central question of my research group is "how to treat brain metabolic dysfunctions associated with neurological disorders?"

I have built an internationally renowned expertise in rare human diseases that primarily affect brain metabolic pathways. My group has developed an original therapeutic approach that targets the Krebs cycle in order to correct brain energy deficiency. We use various metabolic technologies (in vivo metabolic imaging, metabolomics, lipidomics) to characterize brain metabolic dysfunctions in neurodegenerative diseases.

Team PIs


Dream Team: sleep, dreams and cognition


The Dream Team is a trans-disciplinary team, including neurologists, psychiatrists, and cognitive neuroscientists. We have two main goals:

1) understand the mechanisms underlying neurological sleep disorders

2) discover why we sleep and dream

Our clinical research is focused on neurological sleep disorders including hypersomnias (narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia, Kleine-Lewin syndrome) and parasomnias (sleepwalking/sleep terrors, REM sleep behaviour disorder).

We have also a long-standing experience in the exploration of the link between sleep disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s disease).

Our basic research aims to understand how sleep and associated dreams impact our cognitive functioning (memory, attention, creativity) and emotion processing.  

Both clinical and basic research investigate dissociated or mixed states between wake and sleep (e.g. sleep onset period, local sleep intrusions during waking), using neurophysiological recordings and brain imaging (e.g. EEG, videopolysomnography, fMRI) combined with behavioural tasks, and experience sampling. We leverage clinical models to open a window into the sleeping mind such as lucid dreaming in narcolepsy, enacted dreams in REM sleep behaviour disorder, and sleep talking in sleepwalking patients. We also develop new techniques, inspired from the field of machine learning, to analyze physiological recordings in healthy individuals and clinical models.

Team PIs


Eye movement control in primates


We want to understand how the brain works.

We want to understand how the wirings of billions of deterministic entities (such as the neurons in our brain) are capable to express emergent properties such as decision.

In order to examine this question, we are actually applying three restrictions:

1. The species, we are examining the wirings of the brain of non-human primates.

2. The function, we are focusing on the selection, the control and the monitoring of eye movements.

3. The structures, we are studying the frontal eye field, the supplementary eye field and the anterior cingulate regions of the brain.

These restrictions in mind, we are hoping that rules, laws and principles that govern the relations between structure and function within these specific areas of the brain can be generalized across, structures, functions and species so we can understand how our brain works.

Team PIs


Human neurophysiology of motor and cognitive process


Coming soon!

Team PIs


Neuro-developmental disorders: motor and cognitive biomarkers, animal models and therapeutics


The central question of our research group is to explore the pathophysiology of behavioural and movement dysfunctions associated with rare diseases with developmental disorders (mirror movements) and behavioural and motor dysfunctions (dystonia/ Tourette syndrome).

We develop a common approach combining:

a) in vivo and biological study of animal models combined with non invasive explorations of the related genetic forms of human diseases and

b) multimodal neuroimaging-neurophysiology analysis of motor and non-motor cerebral networks in various phenotypes of these rare disorders with the objective to develop innovative therapeutics...

Team PIs


Parkinsonism: pathophysiology, modelisation, imaging biomarkers and therapeutics using focused ultrasound


Coming soon!

Team PIs


Preclinical MRI investigations of neurological diseases, biomarkers and therapeutics


The “Preclinical MRI investigations of neurological diseases, biomarkers and therapeutics” team aims at investigating imaging strategies and translational approaches in experimental models. Imaging biomarkers are crucial for the diagnosis and for the longitudinal follow up of disease and therapeutics.

Translational approaches aim at using the same imaging and processing tools in animal models as in clinical research settings.

The team develops in vivo and post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocols at very high magnetic field (11.7T) for the evaluation of rodent and small primate models of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. It requires a comprehensive approach from animal models, to imaging and to histological validations.


The main developments of the team are:

(1) Translational MRI markers of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation

(2) Vectorized contrast agents delivered through ultrasound-mediated blood-brain-barrier opening for MRI detection and follow up of diagnostic and therapeutic drugs into the brain for translational applications

(3) Therapeutic evaluations in animal models



The ICM 11.7T facility includes the entire pipeline for preclinical studies: data acquisition, post-processing and data analysis as well as animal handling and biological support.

- 11.7T MRI system (Biospec Avance 117/16 USR, AVIII, Gradients BGA9-S, Paravision 6)

- Animal support (anesthesia, physiological monitoring, cradles)

- Proton radio-frequency coils (resonator for rat head / mouse whole body in transmit /receive 38 mm, transmit resonator 72 mm, mouse head surface coil)

- Other nuclei radiofrequency coils (surface transmit/receive 1H/13C 20 mm, surface 1H/31P 20 mm)

- Cryoprobe (Bruker)

- Focused ultrasound system combined to the MRI system


Staff and CENIR collaborators

Stéphane Lehéricy, MD-PhD, head of CENIR

Mathieu Santin, PhD, MR and ultrasound physicist

Laura Mouton, PhD, post-doctoral fellow

Francesca Branzoli, PhD

Romain Valabrègue, PhD

Eric Bardinet, PhD

Lydia Yahia-Cherif, PhD

Benoit Béranger, Engineer

Team PIs

Get in touch

Interested in our research teams?

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Brand identity & UX :