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David Z D'Argenio

Chonette Chair in Biomedical Technology and Professor of Biomedical Engineering


  • Doctoral Degree, Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California
  • Master's Degree, Electrical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University
  • Bachelor's Degree, Electrical Engineering, University of Dayton


David Z. D'Argenio is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern and the inaugural holder of the Chonette Chair of Biomedical Technology. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Professor D'Argenio has been a member of the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at USC since 1979. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Engineering in Medicine and Biology, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the International Society of Pharmacometrics. From 2003-2008 he served on the US FDA Advisory Committee for Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology. He has served as Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at USC from 1996-2003 and was the inaugural holder of the Dwight C. and Hildagarde E. Baum Chair of Biomedical Engineering. He also served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Engineering at USC from 1993-1996 and as the Interim Director of the Alfred Mann Institute of BME at USC from 1998-1999. Professor D'Argenio has been a visiting scientist at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis and at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, CNR, Padova, Italy, as well as a visiting professor at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.
His awards include: the Lewis B. Sheiner Award from the International Society of Pharmacometrics in 2018; Gerhard Levy Distinguished Lectureship, Univ. of Buffalo, SUNY, 2016; the Mellon Mentoring Award, Univ. Southern California, 2010; the USC School of Engineering Service Award, 1992; the USC School of Engineering and TRW Excellence in Teaching Award in 1985. He was a co-founder on the International Society of Pharmcometrics (2010). Professor D'Argenio has served as a consultant for numerous pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of Simulations Plus (NASDAQ: SLP), Inc from 1996-2016.

Research Summary

Systems modeling provides a quantitative framework for understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie how medicines produce their effects (quantitative systems pharmacology – QSP) and for characterizing the interpatient variability observed in response to treatment (pharmacometrics). The overall goal of our work is to develop, evaluate, apply, and disseminate methods of QSP and pharmacometrics to advance model-based discovery, development and precision use of medicines, leading to more effective treatments for life threatening diseases. The methods for QSP that we have developed and applied are aimed at quantifying the mechanisms of action of different therapeutic agents including small molecule and proteins drugs, as well as cell and gene therapies. Our advances in pharmacometrics are applied to better understand the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of therapeutic agents (pharmacokinetics), how medicines produce their effects (pharmacodynamics), and to quantify the contribution of genetic and epigenetic factors in determining the therapeutic response to treatment in individual patients and populations. The advanced systems modeling and associated computational methods we have developed are tailored for the challenging spare data environment of model-based discovery, development and therapeutics. Application areas include oncology, as well as infectious, autoimmune and metabolic diseases. We also develop, distribute and support the ADAPT software system for systems pharmacology and pharmacometrics, which is used by researchers and clinical scientists in universities, industry and government agencies to advance the discovery, development and precision use of medicines.


  • 2018 International Society of Pharmametrics Lewis B. Shiener Award
  • 2016 Gerhard Levy Distinguished Lectureship, Univ. of Buffalo, SUNY
  • 2014 Fellow, International Society of Pharmacometrics
  • 2011 House Ear Institute Chair of the Board of DIrectors
  • 2010 USC Melon Mentoring Award
  • 2009 Fellow, American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • 2005 Chonette Endowed Chair in Biomedical Technology
  • 1999 Fellow, American Institute for Engineering in Medicine and Biology
  • 1992 USC School of Engineering Service Award
  • 1987 Mortarboard Outstanding University Faculty Member
  • 1985 USC School of Engineering and TRW Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 1983 Tau Beta Pi Teaching Award in Biomedical Engineering
  • 1980 American Heart Association Fellow
  • 1978 NIH Predoctoral Trainee Award
  • 1972 University of Dayton Graduated magna cum laude
  • Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • DRB 140
  • Corwin D. Denney Research Center
  • 1042 Downey Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 1111
Contact Information
  • (213) 740-0341