Laurie Kleinbaum Fink joined the Science Museum of Minnesota as a health science liaison in 2001. Since then she has held multiple positions before becoming the Chair of Science leading the Center of Research and Collections at the museum.
Before coming to the museum, Laurie worked in the pharmaceutical industry in both quality assurance and quality control roles. She attended graduate school and earned a Ph.D. in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota where she sequenced and characterized the gene that encodes Ets Homologous Factor (EHF).
At the Science Museum of Minnesota, Laurie has served as the Principal Investigator on several National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation funded projects. She has led the development of several SMM’s exhibits including Tissues of Life, Cell Lab, Disease Detectives, Wonder Years, Weighing the Evidence, and We Move and We Stay. She consulted on The Tech Museum of Innovations (San Jose, CA) DNA Lab and led SMM’s role in the development of Biology Base Camp at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Since 2007, Laurie has led the Science Programs Group at the museum. In this role, she worked to bring the SMM’s scientists closer to the museum’s audiences. In 2016 the Collection group joined Science Programs, forming the Center of Research and Collections under Laurie’s leadership. She has been a grant reviewer for the NIH and the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA). In addition, she is a regular presenter at international museum conferences, involved in a national discussion around the future of Museum Collections and exploring ways to incorporate Community Science into the museum.
Laurie brings her scientific training, museum experience and passion of making science accessible and relevant to a wide audience to her work at the museum.