by Dr Houyam Tibar
I would like to state my deepest gratitude and appreciation to the European Academy of Neurology for having granted me the research-training fellowship for 12 months at Prof. Benazzouz Abdelhamid’s research group, at the Institute of Neurodegenerative disease, Bordeaux University, France.
Since I started neurology training, my field of interest was “movement disorders and especially Parkinson’s disease”. I have been blessed to meet professor Benazzouz with whom I discovered basic research, which is another area of interest for me. We decided to express this interest into a PhD thesis that I am currently working on between the University of Bordeaux and Mohamed 5 University of Rabat. We decided to investigate non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in a cohort of Moroccan Parkinsonian patients and in the alpha-synuclein rat models of the disease.
This team I was blessed to work with are widely known as one of the leading research groups in the field of Parkinson’s disease, as well as an engine of new methods. Thereby, they offered an optimal environment to develop specific skills and basic research experience in this exciting field of research.
The work with Prof. Benazzouz’ gave me, as a medical doctor that had never the chance before to do the experimental work, the chance to know this area that I found very exciting. Working with him closely showed me how useful it is to combine the two disciplines. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed giving me the desire and motivation to work in his field of research on animals in close connection with what happens in patients.
Being in Bordeaux did facilitate me to attend to multiple scientific meetings and congresses in Europe. Especially the neuroscientific meetings that I didn’t have the chance to attend before. This was very constructive and useful, as I could meet a large number of PhD students, Post-docs and researchers to exchange experiences and knowledge.
Broadly, my fellowship at the University of Bordeaux was a great success in all its aspects, with a positive and valuable impact on my career and personal life. Beyond the fellowship period I am continuing to work with Prof. Benazzouz Abdelhamid as also one of my PhD Supervisors. Moreover, we intend to continue our collaboration so I can use the skills I acquired during the last year at my institution of origin, the University Hospital of Rabat in Morocco.
I am grateful to the EAN for providing me this opportunity, you made my dream coming true in a time where I started to give up on it. As a physician-scientists I believe that I can be more effective in the improvement of patients care by stepping over the obstacle between basic and clinical sciences. I encourage young neurologists interested in this field to apply for the EAN research fellowship, it is a journey worthy of every single day of work.