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5 Things About Me: Biomedical Physicist Ali Douraghy

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Ali Douraghy
AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow
Washington, D.C.

Background: Not too long ago I was a biomedical physicist building PET scanners — a nuclear medicine tool used in cancer imaging. Taking a few interesting turns after the lab, I found my way to a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship. I now spend my days in the equally fascinating world of international science diplomacy. My work revolves around establishing frameworks for scientific cooperation between the United States and countries like Egypt and Indonesia that will help us solve global challenges in areas like food security, infectious disease and climate change. These threats don't recognize international borders — and when it comes to using our collective scientific potential, neither should we. 

Question 1. Share a story from your past that lead to your choosing your field of work.
Answer:
As an undergraduate, I was torn between a career in science or Middle Eastern studies. One day my history professor told me that he couldn't take on science as a serious aside to his profession, but that as a scientist I would have more flexibility to pursue additional passions. His advice gave me a new perspective on being a scientist.

Question 2. Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.
Answer:
SCUBA. Such diverse wildlife and feeling weightless — it's like another planet.

Question 3. What's your favorite food? Got a sweet tooth? Caffeine junkie?
Answer:
SALT tooth.

Question 4. Read a book you are dying to tell your peers about? Give us a brief summary and why you love it.
Answer:
The one book I repeatedly pull out of my bookcase is Arabian Sands, Wilfred Thesiger's account of crossing the Arabian Peninsula's Empty Quarter in the years shortly before oil was to set the region on a path to incredible transformation.

Question 5. Share a Web link/video/blog etc. that you found that really excites you and tell us why.
Answer:
If you're into panoramic photography, then you'll appreciate the Photopic Sky Survey. The PSS is a great example of how technology is making it possible for us to better capture, analyze, and communicate very complex scientific data sets.

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"Taking a few interesting turns after the lab, I found my way to a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship. I now spend my days in the equally fascinating world of international science diplomacy," says AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow Ali Douraghy (Photo: Amir Douraghy)
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