S. Kerry Kornfeld, MD, PhD
DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY
Professor of Developmental Biology
2023 Dean’s Impact Award Recipient
Kerry Kornfeld, MD, PhD, has served as co-director and taught in the Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program for 17 years, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also served as course master of Developmental Biology, a comprehensive course required for all PhD students in the Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program in the Roy and Diana Vagelos Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences — and the only course in the field of developmental biology offered to undergraduate students in Arts & Sciences and the McKelvey School of Engineering. It is taught by several faculty, and coordinating it — even in normal circumstances — is a significant responsibility that Kornfeld always meets in an exemplary way. The pandemic-imposed lockdowns of 2020 disrupted normal educational processes and required that Kornfeld orchestrate the transition of this complex course into a virtual format. He coordinated efforts with IT personnel, other faculty members and students to resume course lectures, journal clubs, grant writing and evaluation activities, and for exams to take place in the virtual format. Kornfeld succeeded in transitioning the course activities with minimal detrimental effect to the educational course objectives while keeping in mind the needs and well-being of the 20 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the course, as well as of the faculty. He did so while continuing the research efforts of his laboratory with several graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who also faced significant headwinds during the pandemic.