GH Labs appoints Dr. Steven Kern as Executive Director

Effective today, Steven Kern, PhD, is the new leader and Executive Director of Global Health Labs (GH Labs). Confirmed by the GH Labs Board of Directors, Dr. Kern joins the organization after a successful six-month secondment as GH Labs Interim CEO.

As Executive Director, a title that better aligns with the conventions of other organizations funded by Gates Ventures, Dr. Kern will be a full-time employee of GH Labs and report to the Board of Directors. Beyond these two shifts, his responsibilities remain focused on guiding GH Labs to deliver innovative impact in close alignment with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners.

“As Interim CEO, Dr. Kern played a unique role supporting our leaders and meaningfully contributing to project progress,” said Niranjan Bose, GH Labs board member and Managing Director of Health & Life Sciences at Gates Ventures. “His tenacity, foresight, and ability to catalyze excitement across the organization will accelerate our bold mission of reducing health disparities worldwide.”

To the GH Labs mission, Dr. Kern brings a passion for health technology innovation and nearly 40 years of cross-sector experience in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling, clinical pharmacology, control systems engineering for drug delivery, and medical device development.

“It is my honor and privilege to lead GH Labs during an important time of growth and impact,” said Dr. Kern. “As a center of excellence in primary healthcare equipment, our knowledge, insights, and the products that we create are critical resources for healthcare providers in low- and middle-income countries.”

Prior to GH Labs, Dr. Kern led the Quantitative Sciences Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and, before that, served as Global Head of Pharmacology Modelling at Novartis Pharma AG based in Switzerland. In addition, he has authored over 70 original research papers and continues to serve as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Utah and Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea.

Dr. Kern earned his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Utah, MS in Bioengineering from Penn State University, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.

A full biography and headshot of Dr. Kern are available on the GH Labs People page.


About Global Health Labs, Inc

Global Health Labs, Inc (GH Labs) innovates to reduce health disparities, especially in low- and middle-income countries. As a nonprofit corporation fully funded by Gates Ventures (the private office of Bill Gates), we closely partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and leaders across sectors to develop technology solutions that address unmet needs in:

  • Diagnostics
  • Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health
  • Primary Healthcare Tools and Equipment

Recent innovations from GH Labs resulted in several commercially available rapid COVID-19 antigen tests, an AI-enabled smartphone app to detect cervical cancer, and a portable cold chain device that enables vaccine delivery to remote communities—among many other tools and technologies advanced for the people who need them most.