Meriem Garfa-Traore

Head of cell imaging platform (SFR Necker; France)

After obtaining her Master degree in Biological Imaging in 2003, Meriem obtained a position as a microscopy engineer at the Danone’s research and development Centre. Her job was to design and develop a comparative study of the structure and texture of dairy products using transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy.

In 2004, Meriem was recruited on a fixed-term contract for one year as head of the cell imaging platform at the Institut Cochin in Paris. In 2005, Meriem obtained an external INSERM engineer competition at Necker to set up and develop a cell imaging platform. In 2021, in parallel of her work on the platform, Meriem defended a thesis in cellular and molecular biology. She studied the mechanosensory functions of the NPHP1 and NPHP4 proteins involved in nephronophthisis, a rare genetic disease in children leading to end-stage renal failure. This research work was carried out at the Institut Imagine, in the Hereditary Kidney Disease Laboratory directed by Sophie Saunier.

The SFR Necker ( brings together two institutes, the Institut des maladies génétiques Imagine ( and the Institut Necker Enfants Malades INEM (, and nine hospital centres. The Imagine Institute has 24 teams focusing on the study of rare constitutional diseases; the INEM has 20 teams divided into two departments, “Cell Biology, Growth and Signaling” and “Immunology, Infectiology and Hematology”. The SFR Necker has 13 technological platforms, including the cell imaging platform, which Meriem have managed for over 15 years. The range of instruments available enables observations from macroscopy to super-resolution, for the study of whole organs and cellular ultrastructure. The platform welcomes over 200 users a year, both from the Necker campus and from outside (public and private), and almost 100 new users are trained each year.