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Pablo Artal



Full Professor of Optics
LOUM – Laboratorio de Óptica de la Universidad de Murcia
Centro de Investigación Óptica y Nanofísica
Universidad de Murcia (Spain)


Pablo Artal was born in Zaragoza (Spain). After he finished the primary school, he was enrolled as an intern at the “Universidad Laboral” in Huesca to pursue his baccalaureate education. This allowed him to be the first in the family to attend University. He studied Physics at the University of Zaragoza. In 1984, he moved to Madrid with a pre-doctoral fellowship to work at the CSIC Instituto de Optica under the supervision of Javier Santamaria. He was a post-doctoral research fellow, first at Cambridge University and later at the Institut d’Optique in Orsay, France. After his return to Spain, he obtained a permanent researcher position at the Instituto de Optica (CSIC) in Madrid. In 1994 he became the first full Professor of Optics at the University of Murcia, Spain where he founded his “Laboratorio de Optica”, a world-class laboratory built from scratch, attracting students and collaborators from many countries to Murcia, a region without any previous tradition of research in optical technology. Prof. Artal was secretary of the Spanish Optical Society (SEDO) from 1990 to 1994; associated Dean of the University of Murcia Science Faculty from 1994 to 2000 and Director of the Physics Department at Murcia University from 2001 to 2003. From 2004 to 2007 he was in charge of the reviewing grants panel in Physics at the Spanish Ministry of Science in Madrid. Since 2006 is the founding director of the Center for Research in Optics and Nanophysics at Murcia University. He was president of the Academy of Science of the Murcia Region from 2010 to 2015. During his career he often spent periods doing collaborative research in laboratories in Europe, Australia, Latin America and USA. This included two sabbatical years in Rochester (USA) and Sydney (Australia).

Dr. Artal’s research interests are the optics of eye and the retina and the development of optical and electronic imaging techniques to be applied in Vision, Ophthalmology and Biomedicine. He has pioneered a number of highly innovative and significant advances in the methods for studying the optics of the eye and has contributed substantially to our understanding of the factors that limit human visual resolution. In addition, several of his results and ideas in the area of ophthalmic instrumentation over the last years have been introduced in instruments and devices currently in use in Vision and Ophthalmology.

He has published more than 180 reviewed papers that received more than 6800 citations (H-index: 43), presented more than 200 invited talks in international meetings and around 150 seminars in research institutions around the world. He was elected fellow member of the Optical Society of America (OSA) in 1999, fellow of the Association for research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in 2009 and 2013 (gold class) and fellow of the European Optical Society (EOS) in 2014.

In 2013, he received the prestigious award “Edwin H. Land Medal” for his scientific contributions to the advancement of diagnostic and correction alternatives in visual optics. This award was established by the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) to honor Edwin H. Land. This medal recognizes pioneering work empowered by scientific research to create inventions, technologies, and products. The recipient should share Land’s insatiable scientific intensity and curiosity in optics and imaging and, in part, reflect his image as inventor, scientist, entrepreneur, and teacher.

In 2014, he was awarded with a prestigious “Advanced grant” of the European Research Council.

In 2015, he received the “King Jaime I” award for applied research (New Technologies). This is one of the most prestigious awards for research in Spain.

He has been the mentor of many graduate and post-doctoral students. He is a co-inventor of 20 international patents in the field of Optics and Ophthalmology. Twelve of then extended to different countries and in some cases expanded to complete families of patents covering the world. Dr. Artal is the co-founder of four spin-off companies developing his concepts and ideas. He has been instrumental to continuously attract external financial support from government and private international companies to his laboratory, now widely recognized as one of the leading research centers for Visual Optics in the world.

Career (Research Record):

1985-88: Fellow of the Spanish Ministry of Science. Instituto de Optica (CSIC), (National Research Council), Madrid, Spain.

1988: Visiting scholar.  Physiological Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK. (F.W. Campbell’s laboratory).

1989-September 1990: Post-doctoral fellow. Institut d’Optique, Universite de Paris-Sud-CNRS, Orsay, France. (P.Chavel’s laboratory).

October 1990-February 1994: Senior Scientific Researcher (permanent position). Instituto de Optica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.

1998-99: Visiting professor. Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester (USA).

2011-12: Visiting professor. BrienHolden Vision Institute. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

March 1994-present: Full Professor of Optics (permanent (tenured) position). Laboratorio de Optica, Departamento de Física, Universidad de Murcia, Spain.

External funding: Since 1994, Prof. Artal obtained more than 6 million € of funding from different external agencies and privates companies (> 2 million €). The following agencies and companies funded Dr. Artal research during the last years: Fundación Seneca, Spanish Ministry of Education European Union, NATO, Abbott Medical Optics (AMO) (Holland & USA), CIBA Vision (USA), ESSILOR (France), Calhoun Vision (USA), Allergan (USA). He was awarded with a prestigious “Advanced grant” of the European Research Council (2400000 €) in 2013.

Summary of main achievements:

1)        Over 180 publications in international scientific journals. They collected more than 6800 citations in ISI (>11500 in Google Scholar). H-index = 43 (43 publications with 43 or more citations). (56 in Google Scholar).

2)        Over 650 communications (> 200 invited) presented in international conferences. Over 150 invited seminars in Universities and research institutions.

3)        Over 20 national and international patents (and patent applications). Many of the patents have a family associated for different countries and territories.

4)        Advisor of 22 PhD students (completed thesis) and 10 in progress.

5)        Co-founder of four spin-off companies (Voptica SL, Visiometrics SL).

6)        Editor of the Journal of the Optical Society of America A (2006-2011); Journal of Vision (2004-present); Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (2008-2014) y Journal of the European Optical Society: RP (2009- ).

7)        Fellow member of OSA, ARVO and EOS.

8)        Awarded with an “Advanced grant” of the European Research Council in 2014.

9)        Recipient of the 2013 “Edwin H Land” medal award.

10)     2015 “King Jaime I” award for applied research (New Technologies)

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