Join LIVE from the NYPL: Risk Takers: National Geographic and the New Age of Exploration with Lynsey Addario, Dr. Kenny Broad, James Nachtwey, and Dr. Zoltan Takacs (featured above) Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 7 p.m!
Scientist-adventurer and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Dr. Zoltan Takacs develops drug leads from the world’s most dangerous venomous animals. He is the co-inventor of the Designer Toxin technology, which produces millions of toxin variants and selects the ones (drug leads) that specifically bind to a target that determine the outcome of a disease. Dr. Takacs holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Columbia University and has been a researcher at Rockefeller, Columbia, and Yale Universities. He served as an Earth Institute Fellow at Columbia, where he established and co-taught the school’s first Herpetology course. Dr. Takacs’s expertise as an aircraft pilot and scuba diver are essential to his field work, which aims to extract venom and DNA samples from venomous animals living in the most remote habitats on Earth. Some noteworthy adventures include a jailing in the Balkans while working with vipers in military zones and a rescue by helicopter from civil war in Laos while searching for King cobras. Zoltan is the survivor of a number of snake bites, for all of which he faults himself. Zoltan’s research has been featured multiple times in the National Geographic Magazine, the National Geographic Channel, and PBS/NOVA.