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Meet the Faculty: Awais Riaz, MD, PhD,

Awais Riaz, MD, PhD, is associate professor of neurology here at the University of Utah. He is an important part of the Department of Neurology’s Epilepsy Division as director of Intraoperative Neurophysiologic Monitoring Services. Here are some of his favorite things!

What are your hobbies? Photography, marksmanship, and traveling.

What is your favorite meal? This is a specialty from my home country of Pakistan. Curry made with bones and tendons and eaten with kulcha, which is similar to a naan coated in sesame seeds.

What are one or two things you want to learn to do? Fly an airplane.

What is one thing that can instantly make your day better? Talking to my two dogs and my cat.

What song always gets you out on the dance floor? I don’t dance. Except, once at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY, I danced to the drumming of Gordy Ryan’s “The Olatunji Drums of Passion.”

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? For several years in college and medical school, I practiced a combination of Bando (A Burmese martial art) and karate.

Name one thing on your bucket list. Space travel.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to join the Navy because I loved their white uniforms and being on the open seas.

What is the best concert you’ve ever attended? I have not attended many concerts, but I love music by Tom Waits, Canned Heat, Leftover Salmon, and Earl Scruggs.

What is your favorite thing about your career? Learning from students and trainees. Their idealistic and optimistic perspective on issues helps balance my cynical and skeptical views. Interacting with the younger generation is the best antidote to “burnout.”