Hamza Loucif (Ph.D. Virology and immunology, 2022)
Postdoctoral researcher, virology and immunology, McGill University
“My studies at INRS have had a positive impact on my career path. I met inspiring professors who were passionate about research. It was a real springboard in my career.”
With a master’s degree focusing on biotechnology and molecular pathology, Hamza Loucif is passionate about health research in general and biomedical sciences in particular.
Originally from Algeria, he decided in May 2018 to pursue his studies in immunology and virology and applied to complete a Ph.D. at the INRS Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie.
“While looking for doctoral opportunities in immunology and virology, I learned about the program offered by INRS,” explains Hamza. “I then inquired about possible research projects and available experimental platforms and carefully read the scientific publications of the professors to learn more about their expertise,” he continues.
Hamza’s time at INRS has had a positive effect on his career path. “I met inspiring professors who are passionate about their disciplines. I learned a lot and it was a real springboard in my career. The different collaborations I have been involved in have allowed me to have prestigious publications and to work with researchers from INRS and other universities. All the knowledge I have acquired allows me to put it into practice in different contexts, notably immunometabolism.”
After spending four years at the Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie, Hamza has only excellent memories. “I met some great friends and colleagues and I had the chance to work with professors who inspired me with their passions, especially my research director, Julien van Grevenynghe.”
Grateful to his alma mater, Hamza explains how his time at INRS contributed to his success. “INRS being a top research institution in Quebec and Canada, this allowed me to apply for prestigious postdoctoral fellowships. My time at INRS was also fruitful in terms of scientific productivity, with several publications and the opportunity to participate in exciting conferences. I was also fortunate to receive two excellence scholarships.”
Wishing to pursue his training after his PhD, Hamza is now a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University, in the Department of Immunology and Virology. “I work in two laboratories: one focused on mucosal immunity and the other on intestinal pathogenesis. My current project aims to study immunometabolic alterations in the context of cystic fibrosis disease, or cystic fibrosis.”
His wishes for the future? “I aspire to have a positive impact on health research and actively collaborate with the scientific community. Ideally, I would like to set up my own lab to make a significant contribution to research advances.”
A piece of advice for our students?
“I think it is important to set goals and work pragmatically to achieve them. In research, you have to be excited about the project you are working on. Passion is the key to success in my opinion.”
Thank you Hamza! We wish you the best for the future.
[Interviewed in February 2022.]