Volker D. Kern, PhD
Dr. Kern joined the Critical Path Institute in May 2015, and leads operations as Senior Project Manager of the Critical Path for Alzheimer’s Disease (CPAD) consortium. Between October 2015 and October 2017, Dr. Kern also led operations of the Critical Path for Parkinson’s (CPP) consortium and the Huntington’s Disease Regulator Science Consortium (HD-RSC). In those functions, Dr. Kern is responsible for day-to-day consortium management, schedule adherence, budget performance (~$1 million annual budget for each consortium), milestone achievements, deliverables, grant support, strategic planning, and formal reporting to funding partners. He directly interfaces with multi-national consortia members from pharmaceutical industry, advocacy groups, and regulatory agencies.
Dr. Kern is an accomplished professional skilled in executive leadership and large-scale program/project management. He has extensive program management experience and led multi-faceted teams in innovative and typically resource-constrained environments. He is deeply versed in strategy and process development, relationship building and interfacing with government agencies and customers. Prior to joining C-Path, Dr. Kern served in executive management functions overseeing a Program Management Office as Senior Director of Programs in the field of human spaceflight aerospace engineering. Between July 2003 and October 2005, Dr. Kern served as Program Manager and Enterprise Scientist at NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, overseeing NASA’s Fundamental Space Biology program ($150 million annually). As Principal Investigator of four scientific experiments on U.S. Space Shuttle flight missions, Dr. Kern received grant funding of $2+ million and managed five flight payloads during his tenure as Project Manager at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Dr. Kern is an accomplished author with 20+ peer-reviewed articles, 40+ abstracts, and was an editor of two volumes for Advances in Space Research. Dr. Kern received the NASA Public Service Medal in 2004, and the Thora A. Halstead “Young Investigators Award”, American Society for Gravitational and Space Biology, in 2000. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Gravitational Biology at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and his MS in Plant Physiology at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg, Germany.