Ken Cornetta received a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the State University of New York at Albany in 1978 and a M.D. from Albany Medical College in 1982. He completed an internal medicine residency at Indiana University and served as Chief Medical Resident at Wishard Memorial Hospital. From 1986 until 1989 he was a NRSA fellow at the National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, participating in the first approval clinical trial of human gene transfer. After leaving the NIH, he completed a Hematology Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Professor Cornetta joined the faculty of the Indiana University in 1991, initially in the Department of Medicine with joint appointments in Medical & Molecular Genetics and Microbiology & Immunology. He served as the Director of the IU Bone Marrow Transplant program from 1994 to 2001. In 2002, he accepted the position as Chair, the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics.
His research seeks to develop viral vectors for using in clinical gene therapy applications. His laboratory is funded through a variety of NIH institutes. His laboratory has produced clinical material for over 20 trials throughout the US. Professor Cornetta is on the editorial boards for a variety of gene therapy journals. He is currently Vice President for the American Society of Gene Therapy. In 2003 he became the Joe. C. Christian Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics.