About NIA


Michael-David KERNS

Title: Health Scientist Administrator
Office: Division of Extramural Activities (DEA)
Phone: 301-402-7713
E-mail: mk417e@nih.gov 


Michael-David A.R.R. Kerns, M.M., M.S., Ph.D.

Michael-David (M-D) Alphonsus Rodriguez Richardson Kerns is a Health Scientist Administrator at the National Institute on Aging’s (NIA).   Dr. Kerns leads NIA’s Small Business Innovation (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Research Grants Programs.  Much of his effort focuses on working with 5 Trans-NIH SBIR Working Groups and a number of non-governmental entrepreneurial entities to enhance the efficacy and value of the SBIR-STTR programs and investment.

Prior to joining NIH-NIA, Dr. Kerns was an Engagement Manager at Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, leading a multi-component health-services research project with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  In this capacity, he supervised his own analytic and administrative teams and coordinated the work of other sub-contractors while acting as principal Engagement Manager to the project and primary liaison with/to the primary contractor on the project, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).

In a previous life, Dr. Kerns worked as a Senior Brand/Product Manager at Burlington Industries in New York, managing the Menswear brands and product lines.  Before that, he worked as an Associate Brand/Merchandizing Manager at Avon Products, overseeing marketing and merchandizing management of the fragrance and personal-care businesses.

His first job out of business school was with Commerzbank A.G./New York, where he worked on the corporate capital markets trading desk, trading foreign exchange (US Dollar/German Deutschmark in cash & futures/options markets) and a number of risk-management derivatives. 

Prior to his career in investment banking and marketing management, Dr. Kerns worked in the publishing and fashion industries while living in Milan, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

Dr. Kerns’s academic background includes an A.B. from Duke University in Political Science with secondary studies in Psychology and Classical Studies (Latin/Ancient Roman Civilization).  In his senior year at Duke, Dr. Kerns presented his honor’s thesis, “Consumerism and Coastal Zone Management: A Psychoanalytic Exegesis.” 

In 1987, Dr. Kerns was awarded a Master of Management in marketing management and international business from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. 

In January 1993, Dr. Kerns left Corporate America to study at Dai Bosatsu Monastery.  Following his completion of two periods of Kessei, Dr. Kerns returned to graduate school at San Francisco State University where he obtained an M.S. in Counseling Psychology, and was one of four recipients of the Graduate Student Award of Excellence for his academic and clinical work and leadership.

After completing his M.S. in Counseling Psychology, Dr. Kerns started his doctoral studies in Lifespan Developmental Science and Statistics at Iowa State University as a PACE Fellowship recipient. He obtained his Ph.D. three years later.  Dr. Kerns's dissertation--and a subsequent book, focused on the development and objective analysis of a new Postmodern model of intergenerational relation(ships). During this same period, Dr. Kerns also completed a research fellowship at the German Centre for Research on Ageing at the University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany.  

Following completion of his doctoral studies, Dr. Kerns worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in the lab of Carol Malatesta Magai, focusing on ageing, (discrete) emotions, & emotion regulation.


Program Coordinator of NIA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR-STTR) Programs, Co-Coordinator NIA CODSYS Referral System