He was born in Zaragoza (Spain) where 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 (UK) 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”. He spent periods sabbatical years in Rochester (USA) and Sydney (Australia). He is currently distinguished visiting professor at the Central South University in Changsha, China.
Dr. Artal’s research interests are centered on 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 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 clinical Ophthalmology.
He has published more than 200 reviewed papers that received more than 9400 citations with h-index of 49 (16000 citations and h-index of 68 in Google Scholar). He 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), fellow of the European Optical Society (EOS) in 2014 and fellow of the SPIE in 2016.
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. In 2014, he was awarded with an Advanced Research grant of the European Research Council. In 2015, he received the “King Jaime I” award in new technologies (applied research). In 2018, he was awarded the Spanish National Research award “Juan de la Cierva” and in 2019 the “Edgar D. Tillyer” award of the Optical Society of America for “the pioneering use of optics and photonics technologies to unravel the human visual system and to improve eye diagnostics and correction”.
He is a co-inventor of 25 international patents in the fields of Optics and Ophthalmology. Dr. Artal is the co-founder of two spin-off companies developing his concepts and ideas. He is the editor of the two-volume “Handbook of Visual Optics”, published in 2017.