The governance of the IHU-A-ICM

On January 1, 2018, the IHU was integrated into the ICM Foundation. The budget for intervention, support for the research teams, the staff, successes and hopes, all are brought together to reinforce the coherence and amplify the scientific and medical project of the Institute.
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You have just been appointed Institut du Cerveau – ICM medical director and you are director of the nervous system diseases center at the Pitié-Salpêtrière, what would you wish to develop with your new function ?

The nervous system diseases center (MSN) brings together the services of Neurology, Psychiatry, follow-up Care and rehabilitation, as well as the services of Neurophysiology and Neuropathology of the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital group. It represents a significant care strength, with nearly 500 beds, more than 1000 officers and almost 250 doctors.

My key objective is that the MSN center, a major university hospital, and the Institut du Cerveau – ICM, combine their expertise at the service of clinical research and therapeutic innovation. It is a unique opportunity for our patients and our country. As far as I am concerned, it is the absolute priority.

To what extent does your daily practice of medicine influence your research ?

Daily contact with the suffering and dying changes our vision of research. On the one hand, research is a source of hope for the patient and for us. It is perfectly justified to believe it ! Who would have said, a short time ago, that immunotherapy, after decades of failure, would revolutionise the management of some of the most terrible cancers ? Who would have said that thrombectomy, after a long phase of development, was to establish itself as a major advancement in the management of some strokes ? We could thus multiply examples. On the other hand, for the doctor, good research is the one helping his patient ! For us there is no hierarchy in research. We need brains to understand and develop, but we have just as much need for brains to develop and conduct accurate clinical trials. If one of these components is missing, there is no breakthrough for the patient.

Should you remember three events for 2015, what would they be ?

I would remember only one being above my interest topics : the solidarity of the nation around the values of the republic. The incredible force driving us when we are united !

What are your hopes for 2016 ?

Obtaining approval to build a new building “Paul Castaigne” which will bring together all Neurology units of the Pitié-Salpêtrière, and collectively benefit from this large project to redesign our organisations by associating more closely medical care and clinical research with the patient’s bed.

Allow the center’s paramedical and medical teams to better recognise themselves in the Institut du Cerveau – ICM. This is “our Institut du Cerveau – ICM” !

What is your insight for the future ? According to you, what will tomorrow’s medicine consist in ?

Predictive and “tailor made” in fully informed patients and decision-makers. Medicine has always progressed by identifying different entities being accessible to different therapies in what appeared, at the beginning, as a common framework. There is no reason to change this.

I also think that the voice of patients will be stronger and listened to, including when it will be necessary, facing incurable and debilitating disease, to decide the future.