Growing up in Israel, Goozy Alaluf always had a penchant for science. But when he served for three years as a combat medic in the Israeli army, it really opened up his eyes to the biological sciences. At the age of 21 he moved to the United States and worked as a camp counselor in a summer camp for three years near Atlanta. Mr. Alaluf graduated from Hunter College in Manhattan with B.A. degrees in biochemistry and in anthropology. After graduation he worked as an operations manager in a construction company for a few years in order to save money for graduate school. He entered the Integrated Ph.D. program in the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences in August 2009 and found his niche in the laboratory of Esther L. Sabban, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and graduate program director, studying post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mr. Alaluf enjoys looking at the behavioral aspects as well as the role of molecular biology role in PTSD and the translational possibilities of his work. He hopes to graduate in 2014, and is working on his thesis and contemplating his career path. He aspires to work in the intersection of the life sciences and business, perhaps as a strategic consultant either in the U.S. or abroad.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
My name, Goozy, short for ‘baby bird’ in Hebrew, is in fact a nickname that stuck and eventually took over my real first name, Lishay.
What talent would you love to have?
I assume that superpowers don’t fall under talent but if they did, I would say flying. If we are talking about earthly talents, I would love to know how to play an instrument, especially a guitar.
What is your guilty pleasure?
That one extra episode of Breaking Bad when it is probably time for bed.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What three things would you take?
This one is easy. I’ve actually been thinking about it for a while. I would bring a satellite phone to call for help, some beef jerky to munch on until help arrived and a camera so I could show people I was actually stranded on a deserted island.
What’s been your favorite memory at the college?
My favorite memory at NYMC is the first time I presented my research. I remember being so nervous and trying to anticipate every possible question I could be asked. When my time came to present I switched to ‘auto-mode’ and the whole thing felt like an out of body experience. Even though it was a small presentation, and not terribly important in retrospect, I remember a strong feeling of accomplishment and relief when I was done. It instilled me with motivation and confidence that has stayed with me.
How do you balance your workload and personal life?
Personal what? Seriously, this is very important because it is easy to get carried away with work and get burned out. I spend a lot of my time off in New York City, which helps me gain a fresh look on things. I find it very invigorating. But at this point in my life, workload must take precedence.
What music do you listen to and what is a favorite piece of music?
I enjoy a wide spectrum of musical genres. I particularly like new age electronic music, but I also love Neil Young, Radiohead, and Kanye West. I am even known to appreciate the odd classical bit when I study for an exam or when I read a paper. I am all over the place.
What achievements in your life are you most proud of?
I am very proud of being in a position to answer these questions as a Ph.D. student. Being a graduate student was never trivial for me. Let’s just say that if you told my high-school teacher that one day I will be a Ph.D. candidate she would probably tell you to look for another job because you are not too good at predicting the future.
If you had a magic wand what would you wish for?
I would wish that no one else but me would have a magic wand, to eliminate the competition.
Page updated: December 6, 2013