Stephen Kerry Kornfeld, MD, PhD
Kerry Kornfeld, MD, PhD, professor of developmental biology, is being honored for his transformative efforts in graduate medical education at Washington University and beyond.
As co-director of the Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program in the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences since 2005, he has led the development of the program’s curriculum, increasing its rigor and introducing successful innovations. Under a new model of his creation, students learn how to write and critique grant applications by giving and receiving feedback through oral presentations and a mock study section. As course master of the Developmental Biology course, he gives key lectures on cellular signaling that form a critical foundation for understanding future concepts. He recently reorganized this course into a video-conference format that extends access to undergraduate and graduate students across Washington University and to 10 other institutions. In addition, he added a modular component that allows portions of the course to be refreshed or rotated with other topics every few years. He also organizes the department’s seminar and lecture series and the school’s Interdisciplinary Seminar Series.
His efforts have dramatically increased the number and quality of applicants to the Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program and increased the percentage of accepted students who matriculate.
In the laboratory, Kornfeld is considered an insightful and gifted researcher in the area of the basic biology of aging. His graduate students and postdoctoral fellows benefit from his ability to foster the key skills of a successful lifelong scientist, including logic, presentation, grant writing and mentoring.
Kornfeld earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1984 and his medical and doctoral degrees from Stanford in 1991. He joined the Washington University faculty in 1995 after a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.