Laksen has over twenty years of research and development experience in medical devices. He has pioneered many advances in the field of biomedical engineering, including coronary balloon angioplasty, fallopian tube endoscopy, biopsy and lumpectomy markers, and percutaneous left ventricular assist devices. He currently serves as Vice President of Research and Development of Edwards Lifesciences Transcatheter Heart Valve Replacement Program (THVR). THVR is the non-surgical replacement of a heart valve using a specially designed valve crimped on a catheter and navigated via a percutaneous incision in the femoral artery. The diseased heart valve is replaced in a catheterization lab while the patient is awake and on a beating heart, eliminating the need for anesthesia and open heart surgery. This technology is considered to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in Interventional Cardiology. He has fifteen issued patents and over thirty pending applications on a variety of medical devices and treatment methods.
Laksen graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a BS in Physics. He has an MBA from Pepperdine University, an MS in Aerospace Engineering/Astronautics from the University of Southern California, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, and an MS in Medical Device and Diagnostic Engineering from the University of Southern California.
Laksen has traveled to all seven continents. He has summited Kilimanjaro, lived among the Dani tribe in Irian Jaya; sailed to Komodo Island and whitewater rafted the Zambezi. Two of his most memorable achievements include being a team member of the 4th Parachute Expedition to the North Pole and setting a new World Record and US Transcontinental Record in the category and class by flying a single-engine Diamondstar DA-40 from Orange County Airport to First Flight Airport in Kittyhawk, North Carolina in 17 hours, 24 minutes. Laksen has a private pilot’s license in single-engine land and sea planes and hot air balloons. He is currently building a KB-3 gyrocopter in his garage. His hobbies include sailing, running, collecting meteorites and amateur robotics.
He is 45 years old, married to Mai with two daughters Kaitlyn and Taylor. Although born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka, he considers Southern California home. Laksen is thrilled and excited to be a part of the crew of MDRS-88 and looks forward to sharing this amazing experience with the crew.