Alumnus testimonial

Alumnus Ahmed Abd-El-Haliem - MSc Plant Biotechnology

Egyptian researcher Ahmed Abd-El-Haliem is one of 23 young and talented international researchers who recently recieved a so called Mozaïek grant from the Dutch research organisation NWO.

I find the mechanisms plants use to defend them selfs against pathogens fascinating.

Study programme

Ahmed Abd-El-Haliem (29) was born in Egypt and studied Agricultural Science there at the Suez Canal University. After finishing his B.S. he came to the Netherlands to study Plant Biotechnology at Hogeschool Larenstein in Velp.

Not long after his arrival Ahmed had already successfully mastered the Dutch language. During his period at Larenstein he did an internship at the Wageningen biotech company Keygene. Already familiar with the town Ahmed also did his thesis research in Wageningen. He spend six months at the Wageningen UR research institute Plant Research International working on stress inducible gene expression in tomato seeds.

After obtaining his Professional Bachelors Degree in 2004, Ahmed went on to study for his Masters degree in Plant Biotechnology at Wageningen University. He opted for the Plant Pathology and Pest Control specialisation and did his masters thesis at the Laboratory of Plant Pathology. During his time there he became increasingly fascinated by the complicated mechanisms plants use to defend them selfs against pathogens.


Together with his professor he wrote a proposal for a four-year PhD project entitled 'The role of phospholipid signalling in the defence of plants against pathogens', which would enable him to continue his investigations into this topic. A few months before his graduation NWO selected Ahmed as one of the 23 laureates (out of a total of 121 applications) to recieve the annual Mozaïek grant of 2006. The Mozaïek programme was introduced in 2003 to encourage members of ethnic minorities with scientific talent to remain in the Netherlands for their research. Over next four years the 180,000 euro grant will fund Ahmed's PhD research. January 1st 2007 Ahmed started his PhD research at the Phytopathology Group.

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