Professor Aladar Szalay is internationally recognized for his transformative research and discoveries utilizing live microorganisms (such bacteria and viruses) to locate (diagnose) and eliminate (therapy) human cancers. He founded Genelux Corporation in 2001 and served as its Chairman, President CSO & CEO from 2001 and 2014. Under Professor Szalay’s leadership, the company raised nearly $100 million from mainly private investors for its groundbreaking research and clinical program that included four Phase 1 human trials involving the company’s lead compound, .the oncolytic vaccinia virus, GL-ONC1. More than 80 cancer patients received the experimental drug for cancer therapy and diagnosis, and, importantly, these trials also marked the first time that light emitting proteins were used in humans as diagnostic markers for cancer cells.
Throughout his tenure at Genelux Corporation and to the present, Professor Szalay has continued his foundational academic research at the Rudolf Virchow Center of Experimental Biomedicine, School of Medicine, and the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Würzburg in Würzburg, Germany. Here he directs a research program with graduate students and post-doctoral fellows on whole body imaging and oncolytic virotherapy. Professor Szalay also is full professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Rebecca and John Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center, at the University of California, San Diego.
Prior to founding Genelux Corporation, he was professor of molecular genetics and microbiology and founding director of the Center for Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy, Loma Linda University School of Medicine; Canadian Pacific Endowed Chair Professor of biotechnology and molecular genetics at the University of Alberta; associate research scientist in molecular genetics at Boyce Thompson Institute and adjunct professor at Cornell University; and Gosney fellow at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He has published over 240 peer-reviewed scientific papers, has filed more than 170 patent applications, and holds more than 90 issued patents. Throughout his academic career, Professor Szalay has trained and mentored more than 150 graduate students (Masters, PhD and MD PhD candidates) and considers this one of his greatest privileges and achievements. Professor Szalay is the recipient of the Wilhelm Exner Award (Medal for Excellence in Science) from Austria and the Alexander von Humboldt Prize from Germany, among others. He has advised numerous research foundations, pharmaceutical and diagnostic equipment manufacturing companies, and served on the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board for several biomedical start-ups.