Kolanis grew up on Betazed with his mother, his father was a trader and left them when Kolanis was very young. His mother, ever evasive about Kolanis' father, raised him to embrace his Betazoid heritage; however, once he was old enough, Kolanis left Betazed to search the stars for his long lost father.
He travelled through space for years, learning many skills in the process until he chanced upon a derelict Federation starship. He rescued many trapped crew members and treated dozens of wounded. Hearing of his valour, Starfleet extended an invitation to Kolanis to enter Starfleet Academy. Kolanis accepted and became an exceptional student. He was later handpicked by Dr Thatcher to join the USS Incursion's medical team. (TNG video game: Away Team)