Robert Debré Child Brain Institute

Robert Debré Child Brain Institute

Innovating for every child

The Robert-Debré Child Brain Institute, whose creation was announced during the Assises de la Santé Mentale et de la Psychiatrie  in September 2021, will bring together teams of first class clinicians and researchers to focus on the brain development of children. It is supported by AP-HP, Université Paris Cité, Inserm, CEA and Institut Pasteur, with the participation of CNRS.

Located at the heart of the AP-HP Robert-Debré hospital in Paris, the Institute aims to respond to all of the child’s vulnerabilities.

The care of children must be based on both healthcare and education. This is why care, basic and clinical research, fablabs and start-ups will be brought together in the Institute.

This synergy of skills will make it possible to build with children and their families a new approach to parenting, educational strategies, as well as the prevention and management of neurodevelopmental disorders.

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Improving the future of every child

  • Understanding the biology of the developing brain from foetus to adolescent

    Understanding the biology of the developing brain makes it possible to support the individual trajectory of each child by promoting the enrichment of his or her cognitive and affective skills, including in a context of vulnerability (poverty, prematurity, illness, family dysfunction, etc.).

  • Understanding how our brain learns

    Understanding the brain mechanisms involved in complex learning such as language, reading, mathematics, but also the substratum of logical reasoning or problem solving to propose cognitive models of learning, to evaluate school strategies on a scientific basis, to develop innovative practices, mainly to compensate for cultural and socio-economic gaps.

  • To address atypical developmental trajectories and the consequences of brain damage on developmental processes

    To improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

  • Building a child-centred public policy, especially for children in vulnerable situations



For more than 20 years, Robert-Debré Hospital has been involved in the study and the care of the developing brain from the prenatal period to adolescence, particularly involving the neonatal, the child psychiatry, the neurology and the clinical genetics departments. 50% of consultations and hospitalisations concern children suffering from a cerebral development disorder (autism, intellectual deficits, specific learning disorders, lesions of the central nervous system, epilepsy) or belonging to a population at risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as premature babies.

The Robert-Debré Hospital already houses clinical and scientific teams involved in the research and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders throughout France. The I2D2 University Hospital Federation and the Excellence Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders InovAND foster the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge concerning the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of children, in partnership with patient associations and families.

The best teams will be brought together in a single building at Robert-Debré Hospital

A new 12,000 m2 building will be built within the hospital at the heart of vulnerable paediatric populations. Distributed over 4 levels, it will allow the development of a transversal and consistent approach to the child as a whole, offering an integrated response to the challenges faced by today’s children in their families, at school and more generally in their living environment.


Designing a consistent care pathway for children and their families, to better diagnose and treat developing brain disorders.

> Consultations and day hospitals for child psychiatry, clinical genetics, neurology and neonatology; consultations for ENT, ophthalmology and neurosensory.

Clinical and educational research

Research involving children and their families, based on the latest basic research findings, oriented towards learning and improving the health and well-being of children. 

> Clinical Investigation Centre, Clinical Research Unit, MRI Research and Neurophysiological Exploration Platforms.

Basic research

Internationally renowned teams will be hosted on research platforms equipped with the latest technologies for studies from the cell to the most complex behaviours.

> Spaces dedicated to current research teams and hosting new teams, technological platforms, in connection with Inserm, Université Paris Cité, CEA, CNRS and Institut Pasteur.


Learning and innovating together.

> Spaces dedicated to educational sciences, start-ups and fablabs, associative actors and training.


Medical and Scientific Direction


Prof. Richard Delorme

Head of the Department of Child Psychiatry at the Robert-Debré Hospital AP-HP and Director of the INOVAND Centre of Excellence


Prof. Pierre Gressens

Director of UMR 1141 Inserm – Université Paris Cité


Prof. Ghislaine Dehaene-Lambertz

Director of the developmental neuroimaging laboratory CNRS – Inserm – CEA – NeuroSpin


Prof. Thomas Bourgeron

Professor at Université Paris Cité and Institut Pasteur

Project management

Marianne Perreau-Saussine

Graduate of the ESSEC, Sciences-Po Paris and EHESP, expert in the management of strategic and innovative projects in the field of research and care.


Four major axes around a scientific committee

  • Axis n°1 : The developing brain

  • Axis n°2 : A brain for learning

  • Axis n°3: Autism and neurodevelopmental disorders

  • Axis n°4: Epidemiology and public health