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Michael-David KERNS

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Title: Health Scientist Administrator
Office(s): Office of Small Business Research (OSBR)
Phone Number: 301-402-7713
Email Address:


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 (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-STTR Working Groups and a number of non-governmental entrepreneurial entities to enhance the efficacy and value of the SBIR-STTR programs and NIH-NIA investment.

Prior to joining NIH-NIA, Dr. Kerns was an Engagement Manager and Senior Analytical Scientist 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 recruited, managed, and supervised 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 previous careers with profit-and-loss responsibility, 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 the divisional team's product 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 as a capital markets trader on the corporate capital markets desk, trading foreign exchange (US Dollar/German Mark 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 honour’s thesis, “Consumerism and Coastal Zone Management: A Psychoanalytic Exegesis.” 

After working for a number of years in Continental Europe and East Asia, Dr. Kerns returned to the United States to attend business school at the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was awarded a Master of Management in marketing management and international business.  As part of his training experience at Kellogg, Dr. Kerns worked as an Associate on a multi-component strategic reorganization (management consultiing) consult at Motorola Corporation.  

After stints as a capital markets trader and brand/product manager, Dr. Kerns made the decision to leave Corporate America to undertake monastic training at Dai Bosatsu Monastery.  Following completion of several 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 relocated to Iowa to work with Peter Martin and to complete his doctoral studies in Lifespan Development 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 statistical analysis of a new Postmodern model (Post-Solidarity) of intergenerational relation(ship)s. During this same period, Dr. Kerns was awarded 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 was selected as a post-doctoral research fellow in the lab of Carol Malatesta Magai, focusing on ageing, health, (discrete) emotions, & emotion regulation.

Research Interests/Portfolio

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