#IAmNYAS: Juan A. Gallego

Science and the arts have a lot in common, but not every scientist is also active in the arts. Meet one who is.

Published October 30, 2015

#IAmNYAS: Juan A. Gallego

Meet award-winning scientist and multi-instrument musician, Juan A. Gallego, MD, MS. Juan has been an Academy Member since 2015 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Hofstra North Shore LIJ School of Medicine. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he can also be heard playing bass, guitar, drums, and more.

In addition to wanting to learn more about Juan's work in psychiatric research, we were also excited to learn about his music, which regularly takes him back to his home country of Colombia. Read more below:

What project(s) are you currently working on?

I am performing lumbar punctures (spinal taps) in patients with schizophrenia and in healthy volunteers with the goal of studying the role of microRNAs in cerebrospinal fluid as prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers.

What is one of the biggest challenges you're facing right now?

Recruiting subjects is always a challenge, especially for a study like mine. Therefore, recruiting enough subjects to be able to conduct meaningful and relevant analysis is my biggest challenge.

What is one of the most rewarding moments of your career?

The day I received my K23 Career Development Award [the NIH's Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award] for performing lumbar punctures.

What is one thing you love to do outside the lab?

I've been playing music since age 16. I play the electric bass, guitar, some piano and drums, and I perform regularly in the New York area. I typically play with bands but also write some of my own music. I play regularly with a few artists such as Nilko Andreas and LaMar NYC (World Music) and La Cumbiamba eNeYe (Colombian music). I also fly to perform in my home country, Colombia, with Estados Alterados (synth pop).  


If, like Juan, you're a scientist who is also interested in music, be sure to check out our recent Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences publication, previous music and neuroscience-related publications.

Read other #IAmNYAS profiles here.