Jan F. Kern was born in Berlin, Germany in 1973. He obtained his Diploma in Chemistry from the Technische Universitat Berlin and University of Kent in Canterbury, UK (with distinction) in 1993 and 1996, respectively. Kern then completed his Masters studies (with distinction) on the crystallization of Photosystem I under the influence of normal and reduced gravitation with Petra Fromme at the Max Volmer Laboratory for Biophysical Chemistry, TU Berlin in 1999. He continued at the Max Volmer Laboratory, TU Berlin, for his doctoral work with Athina Zouni on structural and functional investigations of Photosystem II from Thermosynechococcus elongatus, and obtained his Ph.D. in 2005. Upon completion of his doctoral studies, Kern remained in the Zouni lab as a postdoctoral fellow until 2008. He was a Feodor Lynen Postdoctoral Fellow with Kenneth Sauer and Vittal Yachandra at LBNL from November 2008 until October 2010, and was a joint postdoctoral fellow between the Yachandra/Yano Lab at LBNL and the Bergmann Lab at the SLAC, Stanford University, using X-ray spectroscopy to study the Mn4Ca cluster in Photosystem II until 2012. In late Spring 2012, Kern was promoted from a postdoctoral fellow to a research chemist scientist at LBNL in the Physical Biosciences Division.