Located in the heart of Paris, the «Voir et Entendre» Carnot Institute represents one of the most important international centers in neurosensory research. This institute is designed as a place of exchange gathering on the same site patients, clinicians, researchers and industrials in order to accelerate innovation in terms of health products and high technology, while bringing solutions to unmet needs of people impaired by pathologies and handicaps affecting visual and hearing systems.

From knowledge transfer ...
to tomorrow’s therapeutic approaches

The «Voir et Entendre» Carnot Institute activities

  • Development of therapies (research, developing and running of clinical trials)
  • Sensory restoration (artificial retina, cochlear implants)
  • Innovation in investigation tools (retinal imaging)
  • Overall approaches on issues linked to sensory impairment (urban planning, home automation, services)

An ecosystem supporting innovation and startups 

  • 1 incubator with several startups on site
  • Access to 12 technological core facilities for our incubator and partners
  • Creation of 7 spin-offs by the «Voir et Entendre» Carnot Institute

Components of the «Voir et Entendre» Carnot Institute

  • Fondation Voir et Entendre (Foundation of scientific cooperation seeing and hearing)
  • Research Center Institut de la Vision (Joint Research Unit UMRS 968, INSERM/UPMC/CNRS)
  • Research Unit on Genetics and Physiology of Hearing (UMRS 1120, INSERM/PASTEUR)
  • Clinical Investigation Center (CIC 1423) of CHNO XV-XX (INSERM/CHNO) Reference center for retinal rare diseases

Current research interests

Development of the visual system

  • Deepen the understanding of the development of the visual system within the larger scope of neuroscience (axon guidance in angiogenesis, optic nerve regeneration, the role of microdomains (Xavier Nicol), retinal cell lineage and differentiation, eye growth, circuit connectivity (Alain Chedotal))
  • Analyze the potential of dissecting the signaling pathways underlying retinal cell development, that control proliferation and differentiation of progenitors and stem cells, bearing the promise of becoming tools for screening disorders and for transplantation in the future (Olivier Goureau)
  • Discover the role of multiligand receptors in eye growth, and the combination of new cell imaging and genetic technologies to follow cell lineage (Renata Koziraky)

Genetics Department

  • Identify more major genes involved in the physiology of light perception and visual processing including night vision, and their role in pathology (Isabelle Audo, Christina Zeitz)
  • Discover, following studies in models of retinitis pigmentosa, of the mechanisms underlying the paracrine interactions between rods and cones in the normal retina, leading to a novel therapeutic strategy and a better understanding of neuronal response to oxidative stress 
(Thierry Leveillard)

Visual Information Department

  • Establish a functional model of signal processing in the retina and construct bio-inspired models, devices, and tools (Serge Picaud)
  • Model the retinal processing for understanding normal physiology, designing bio-inspired cameras, and developing visual restoration strategies such as retinal prostheses and optogenetics (Serge Picaud / Christophe Posch / Ryad Benosman)

Therapeutics Department

  • Understand the role of chemokines, inflammatory cells and their mediators in ocular surface disease, the control mechanisms of intraocular pressure, the immune response in the subretinal space, as well as photoreceptor (PR), retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choriocapillary dysfunction and degeneration (Christophe Baudouin)
  • Dissect the role of chemokines in the pathophysiology of glaucoma, ocular surface information, and ocular pain, through analysis of the inflammatory response elicited by preservatives in eyedrops (Christophe Baudouin)
  • Characterize at the molecular level the interactions between RPE and PR cells, with special focus on phagocytosis (Emeline Nandrot)
  • Demonstration of the primary roles of macrophage accumulation in photoreceptor degeneration in atrophic Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and ischemic retinopathies and the identification of their pathogenic mediators (Florian Sennlaub)
  • Control the allotopic expression of genes in the mitochondria (Marisol Coral-Debrinsky)
  • Understand the mechanisms underlying cornea nerve growth (Vincent Borderie)

Other Know-hows and skills

  • Biology of sensory systems development
  • iPS cells (Progenitors of retina cells)
  • Cell therapy
  • Optogenetic
  • Gene therapy
  • Study of inflammation in pathological processes
  • Processes of physiological and pathological vascularisations
  • Pharmacology, drug discovery, pharmaco-toxicity
  • Cohorts analysis : genotyping, phenotyping
  • Low vision
  • Mathematical modeling of vision

Technological core facilities

  • Imaging by brainbow-technique, two-photon and confocal microscopy, slide scanner, etc... Retinal Imaging: SLO, OCT, adaptive optics
  • Phenotyping of small animals and non-human primates
  • Patch-clamp, Multi Electrode Array
  • Genotyping, sequencing
  • Vectorology, histology, biochemistry
  • Cell culture (cell models of pathologies)
  • High Throughput Screening (HTS/HCS)
  • Core facilities dedicated to handicap: HomeLab (experimental apartment), Streetlab (artificial street), low vision simulator


Partners in basic research

The collaborations extend well beyond France to meet global challenges and to be competitive in some highly dynamic areas of research.
The Vision Institute researchers collaborate in large-scale European programs and maintain favored links with universities worldwide.

Industrial Partnerships

In parallel to its fundamental research activity, the Vision Institute conducts applied research together with industrial partners. Common know-how and skills are shared in order to develop new products and services that can benefit to patients.
Several partnerships are ongoing with the industry, see examples in our Portfolio.
These programs leverage both our clinical and our non-clinical expertise to set-up collaborative research with our partners, ranging from fundamental, to clinical, translational and applied research in various domains.

The Vision Institute is sharing its expertises and its technological platforms (see Core Facilities) via the consortium GLOBAL CARE Initiative.

Many partnerships are ongoing with Thea, Merck, Iris Pharma, Visiotact, Horus Pharma, Phitech, Optic 2000/CECOM, Opia, Ophtimalia, Infinite Vision, MedInfoEurope, GenSight, Pixium Vision, Fovea

Our core strategy: partnerships

  • Small and medium sized pharma and biotech companies: Sanofi, Pfizer, Novartis, Alcon, Allergan, GenSight Biologics, Santen-Novagali etc...
  • Small and medium sized companies in nanomaterials, optics, robotics, electronics: Essilor, Thales, Siemens, Imagine Eyes, Pixium Vision, LLTech etc...
  • Research laboratories in life sciences: FMI (Basel), MEEI (Boston), UCL (London), Max Planck Institut (Frankfurt) etc...
  • Research laboratories in optics, acoustics, robotics, mathematics, signal Transmission: CEA Léti, CEA List, ESPCI, ESIEE etc...
  • Clinical research center: member of EVICRNet, a European network of clinical research in ophthalmology (86 members, 16 countries)

See our Portfolio

GLOBAL CARE is an outstanding consortium of 5 French expertises :