Daniel L. Farkas was trained in Theoretical Physics in Romania, and holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Weizmann Institute in Israel, where he received honors (Yashinsky Outstanding Graduate Student Prize, EMBO and UNESCO fellowships, Aharon Katchalsky-Katzir Award). He came to the US as a Fulbright scholar (also holding a Dr. Chaim Weizmann fellowship), conducted research at UC San Diego and Univ. of Washington and was also a Fulbright lecturer at UC Berkeley.
After junior faculty appointments, he settled at Carnegie Mellon Univ. as Associate Director and then Director of a National Science and Technology Center that won the Smithsonian Award for Science in 1996. Additionally, he joined the University of Pittsburgh as Professor Bioengineering and Pathology and Director of the BioImaging Laboratories. He was also co-founder and Associate Director of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, later named the National Tissue Engineering Center. In 2002 he was appointed Vice-chairman for Research and Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgical Technologies Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was also Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Sciences. He is currently Research Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Univ. of Southern California.
Dr. Farkas’s scientific interests center on the investigation of the living state with light, for uses in biology, biotechnology, bioengineering and medicine. Optical bioimaging and biophotonics are his main technology interest areas, the applications being those of highest need and clinical challenge. This work was described in 200+ publications in journals such as Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Applied Optics, Cancer Research, PNAS, PLoS One and 31 books edited, and supported by about $80M in peer-reviewed funding. Minimally invasive surgery, the Operating Room of the Future, regenerative medicine and especially innovative cancer and neuroscience research, pursued at the mesoscopic level (i.e. with microscopic resolution within the macroscopic body) constitute his research focus. In these application domains, his team’s ability to monitor events with high specificity and spatio-temporal resolution, non-invasively in vivo significantly increased translational relevance, in studies of 3-D tissue architecture and physiology, early pathology detection and treatment, stem cell engraftment, tissue oxygenation, and cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegeneration research.
Dr. Farkas has chaired thirty international scientific conferences, including the United Engineering Foundation Conference on Advances in Optics for Biotechnology, Medicine and Surgery and the Keystone Symposium on Optical Bioimaging: Applications to Biology and Medicine. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Biomedical Optics Society, served on eleven journal editorial boards, more than twenty NSF panels and NIH Study Sections, and on scientific advisory boards of national research centers (at Stanford Univ. and Univ. of Maryland) and international organizations, as well as of high-tech and biomedical companies.
His work was recognized with the Automated Imaging Association Award for Scientific Application, the Sylvia Sorkin Greenfield Award from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and election to President of IMLAS, an international interdisciplinary surgical society. Recently he was named Global Good Fellow, to work for Bill Gates on advanced technologies for addressing health challenges of the Earth’s “bottom billion” people.
Dr. Farkas founded three successful high/bio-tech startups, two acquired by larger companies and one currently on the NYSE. He decided to emphasize entrepreneurship (in which he received postgraduate training from Carnegie-Mellon University) over academic endeavors starting in 2011, and is now actively focusing on the development of five startups, as founder, chairman and CEO. Having lived in several countries, Daniel has 3 citizenships (including US), and is fluent in 6 languages.