Michael Berns holds the Arnold and Mabel Beckman endowed chair at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He is Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering and a member of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (www.robolase.ucsd.edu). He is Chairman and CEO of the Beckman Laser Institute Foundation (www.beckmanlaserinstitutefoundation.com).
He is the Founder and past Director of the Beckman Laser Institute program at UCI (http://www.bli.uci.edu/). He received his BS, MS, and PhD from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He was awarded the UC Irvine Medal in 1984, and was elected to the Royal Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received the Life-Time Achievement Award from the International Society for Optics and Electronics in 2010. He has published 450 research articles, holds twelve patents, and authored and/or edited seven books.
His books and research articles have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Russian, French, German, Arabic, and Serbo-Croatian. He has written three invited articles for Scientific American magazine, the Encyclopedia Britannica, and Op Eds for the LA Times, the Orange County Register, and the San Diego Tribune. He has been featured twice in the National Geographic magazine for his pioneering work using laser light to manipulate cells. He has had three cover articles in Science magazine and one in Nature Photonics in 2012. He has been interviewed twice for NPR public radio, and appeared twice on local San Diego TV stations as well as being filmed for the TV series In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy in 1978. His research using lasers to manipulate sperm was recently filmed as part of a four part series “Sex in the Wild” by British public television in partnership with PBS. The piece aired August 16, 2014.
On June 21, 2014, his creative non-fiction book, Refusenik, was one of the first place winners in the 21st annual San Diego Writers Book Awards contest.