ISEF StoriesNews

Dr. Maayan Krispil-Alon, a current international fellow, is a testament to the potential of ISEF scholars who overcome challenging circumstances and achieve enormous success.

Born and raised in Haifa, Maayan is one of three children of first-generation Moroccan Israelis. As immigrants to Israel, her parents were under difficult circumstance and never had the chance to get an education.

Coming from a modest background, Maayan excelled in academia, completing her BA and MA with the Dean’s Honor Award. She then was accepted for her PhD in Neurobiology in Haifa,  studying GABA3- related microRNAs in stress vulnerability and stress resilience.

Since joining ISEF in 2016, Maayan has been a central figure in ISEF’s group of trailblazing Ph.D. Scholars in Haifa. Meeting with veteran ISEF alumni scientists, including several past ISEF International Fellows, she began to believe that, despite financial and family constraints, there were no limits to what she might aspire to achieve. She also helped lead ISEF’s efforts to spread the transformative impact of higher education via college-prep projects targeting at-risk teens in struggling Haifa towns.

“Helping to promote a new generation of researchers who come from underserved backgrounds is a mission I feel passionate about,” she writes. “My experience developing the college-prep project inspired me to continue my involvement, so I recently volunteered to mentor an ISEF undergraduate. I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me by ISEF and for all the knowledge and support I have received throughout my academic training. I truly believe that ISEF made a significant contribution to my achievements and will positively influence my professional and personal life going forward.”