Sana El Hajji is an IBRO alumna and current PhD student in Neuroscience at the Hospital Research Centre at the University of Montreal (CRCHUM, Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal). Originally from Morocco, she explains, “I was always fascinated by neuroscience, but doing neuroscientific research in developing countries, [such] as my home country, is very challenging.” 

In 2017, she was selected to participate in the 11th IBRO-USCRC Canadian School of Neuroscience. Her experience was very encouraging and allowed her to interact with senior scientists whom she would not have had the chance to meet otherwise. 

Sana reports, “Participating in this school gave me the chance to meet and exchange with high[ly] qualified neuroscientists.” During this period, she had the opportunity to work with Professor Albert Aguayo, former IBRO President (2005-08), and Professor Samuel David, current IBRO US/Canada Regional Committee Chair. 

The School also allowed her to visit the laboratory of Professor Adriana Di Polo, a Principal Scientist at CRCHUM. Once an international student herself, Professor Di Polo says, “I think it’s very important to give the opportunity to these very intelligent individuals to do high quality work in a wonderful environment.” 

As a result of her experiences at the IBRO-USCRC Canadian School, Sana joined Di Polo’s lab and is now working to identify a new mechanism for neuroregeneration.