Movers And Shakers


As an entrepreneur Dan Faust started one of the largest durable medical equipment retail outlets as well as one of the largest compounding pharmacies in the greater Houston area which was named as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in Houston. Over the past decade Mr. Faust has worked with both the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine on the development of novel and cutting-edge anti-cancer technologies. He is a board member of the American Cancer Society and an advisory board member of Houston Hospice. His continued diligence in the fight against cancer and his keen foresight compelled him to create Diakonos Research, Ltd.


William Decker, Ph.D, co-developer of Diakonos core technologies, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Decker received his Ph.D. degree in Molecular and Human Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine in 2001 and was a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from 2004 to 2011. He is the Principal Investigator of an IND filed (and FDA approved) for intent to treat resectable pancreatic cancer and will serve as Principal Investigator on upcoming IND filings. He also directs a variety of preclinical research programs aimed at developing additional treatment strategies for other tumor types.

Matthew Halpert, Ph.D, co-developer of Diakonos core technol-ogies, is faculty at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He received his doctorate in Immunology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He originally joined the research team in 2011 and transitioned to Diakonos in 2015. Dr. Halpert has been instrumental in developing and optimizing the cancer vaccine technology at both a basic and a translational level and is also heavily engaged in the development of second and third generation technologies. His background in immunology aids the group in optimizing both current strategies and developing next generation approaches.



Vanaja Konduri Ph.D, also faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, joined the research team in 2012, bringing her impressive technical abilities and keen biological instincts. In addition to cancer, she is also adapting immunotherapeutic techniqes for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases (such as Chagas and HIV). Dr. Konduri received her PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Her scientific acumen and abilities in the lab are instrumental to the improvement of current Diakonos-licensed technologies, the development of future intellectual property and FDA-related momentum.


Dr. Ratan D. Bhardwaj is the Chief of Pedatric Neurosurgery at Palm Beach Children's Hospital in West Palm, Beach, Florida.  Dr. Bhardwaj received his PhD from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm Sweden, his MD degree from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and performed his Pedatric Neurosurgery fellowship at Rady Children's Hospital In San Diego, CA.  He has held many esteemed positions, run several programs, and his deep understanding of both the research and clinical sides of translational immunotherapeutics is an advantage for the team. 


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