This fund was established by Kenneth and Laura Berns in 2005 for the purpose of supporting student internships, teaching programs and research related to the Harn Museum of Art’s educational docent program.
Kenneth became the Director of the Genetics Institute at the University of Florida in 2003 and continues in that position today. Previously, he was the dean of the College of Medicine at UF from 1997 to 2002 and the vice-president of the Health Science Center from 1998 to 2002. He was the CEO at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York from 2002 to 2003. He was chair of the microbiology department at Cornell Medical School from 1983 to 1997 and the chair of the microbiology department in the UF College of Medicine from 1976 to 1983. He received both his MD and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins.
Kenneth is known for his pivotal genetics discoveries and the development of gene-transport molecules for use in gene therapy. He has served on numerous scientific advisory committees as well as serving on the Johns Hopkins Board of Trustees for six years.
Laura has been a docent at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art for more than ten years, serving as the president of the docent board. She is a long-time member of the Board of Directors of the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Gainesville. She has taught expository writing at Pratt Institute, New York University, the University of Florida and Towson State University. She received a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from New York University.