;
Attending a town hall? Public debate? Meet and greet? Ask these important questions before you cast a ballot!

Frank Burns

Learn more about Frank's stances below.

  • Frank Burns

  • About Frank

  • 21
  • House
  • Education and Professional:
    Now an accomplished medical school professor, scientist, inventor and biotech entrepreneur, I grew up in a household of modest means. Mine was the first generation in our family to attend college. My mother grew up the daughter of sharecroppers in Arkansas during the depression and her stepfather did not want her to attend school. As a child she had a total of only 20 days of formal education. My father was the son of immigrants from Ireland. His father died when he was 14 and my father entered the Army after finishing high school. My mother pushed for her children to get the education she was denied. As I was finishing high school, I qualified for a National Merit Scholarship and Villanova University offered me one of their National Merit Scholarship slots. This coupled with other scholarship money, a federal Basic Educational Opportunity (Now called Pell) Grant, student loans and various part time and full-time jobs I held down enabled me to take advantage of the opportunity to attend and graduate from Villanova. Upon graduation from Villanova, I applied to the PhD program in Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania and was accepted and awarded an NIH predoctoral fellowship which covered both tuition and living expenses. After earning my PhD I was offered a faculty position at University of Pennsylvania medical school and performed research on causes of disease with my work published in leading international journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Neuron, The Journal of experimental Medicine and Science.
    I established the first diagnostic molecular pathology laboratory at the MCP/Hahnemann (Now Drexel) medical school and latter directed the molecular Pathology and onco-cytogentics laboratories at Thomas Jefferson Medical school while continuing research on cases of, and diagnostic methods for, diseases. An opportunity to work on preventing, rather than diagnosing disease beckoned and I joined Qualicon, a small biotech company in Wilmington, developing DNA based methods to screen the food supply for pathogens. DuPont, one of the partners in the Qualicon business, took over the company. I developed, patented, and DuPont commercialized several improved diagnostic methods for detection of pathogen detection in food production. Several of these methods were adopted world-wide by food industry and government food safety regulatory agencies alike. Most recently I decided to strike out on my own and formed BioPrimate LLC with this clearly stated objective “Our mission is to unblock the potential of the microbial universe to benefit humanity”.

    Personal:
    I am a divorced father of one son. My son lives with me in the Roseville Park neighborhood.

    Political activism:
    I have been politically active since my 18th Birthday. This activism has sometimes been in the form of working on political campaigns but also has been expressed in taking part in protests, marches and actions to hold our elected representatives accountable. After the water protectors were sprayed with water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures, I took a two week vacation in December of 2017 to go to the Oceti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock and built shelters for those staying the winter. I have participated in several actions (and helped in planning of a few) related to climate, reproductive rights and social justice.

    Volunteering: I have been a volunteer locally with The Food Bank of Delaware and The Delaware Medical Reserve Corps (RESPOND DE) at food distribution, covid testing, vaccination, mass evacuation and informational events. I have also mentored medal winning teams of high school students from across Baltimore in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (IGEM) competition in a program run by the Baltimore Underground Science Space (BUGSS). In professional organizations I have served on the Association for Molecular Pathology education and training committee and co-authored the first set of guidelines for teaching molecular testing methods to pathology residents. I have also chaired divisions in both the American Society for Microbiology and the International Association for Food Protection.

  • Candidate Questions

  • Education Equity

  • No

    There is nuance here. From my understanding an SRO who reports to the school, not the police, and is there only to defend, not provide other discipline or be a hall monitor, is not necessarily harmful. I am not sure the solution is an "either/or" it may be an "and".

  • Yes

    The approach of looking at behavior problems not as "rule breaking" but instead to focus on the harm done to others and ways to achieve conflict resolution are important lessons for all of us. From what I have read it seems that getting buy in from staff and other aspects of implementation are easier in elementary grades. It may work better to start with elementary grades and implement restorative practices in middle and then high schools as the students who have come up with this ethos progress through the system.

  • Immigrants’ Rights

  • Yes

    My belief is that health care is a human right. Every child should be cared for.

  • Yes
  • Smart Justice

  • Yes

    Everyone should be treated equally under the law. There are heroes and criminals in every walk of life. If they are both suspected of a crime a truck driver should not have fewer rights than a police officer.

  • Yes

    It is unfortunate, but many police departments have shown poor ability to investigate their fellow officers and hold them accountable.

  • No

    The problem with this question is the "nobody". I am not sure how this would impact, and perhaps undercut, drug court diversion programs for young offenders. I would have to know a lot more about the specifics and the impacts of the legislation to say yes. That being said I agree in principle that minor probation violations should not result in reincarceration.

  • Yes

    Many people are intimidated by trying to engage with the government, when an individual is eligible, expungement should be automatic.

  • Yes

    Any case terminated in favor of a defendant should be expunged from their record. I, obviously mistakenly, thought this had been enacted into law in Delaware in 2019. I would not only support but be willing to sponsor a bill to achieve this.

  • Yes

    There needs to be an end to the two-justice system approach that treats people of means differently than those without.

  • Reproductive Freedom

  • Yes

    To my great shame my older brother was a congressional intern for Henry Hyde. Health care is a human right, reproductive health care is not an exception.

  • Yes

    I would prefer a broader bodily autonomy amendment that goes beyond reproductive issues but would support one even if limited to reproduction.

  • Yes

    Our maternal mortality rate is disastrous. We have a provider shortage across multiple medical disciplines (most evident in primary care arena) that we need to step up our game in particular for reproductive health.

  • Voting Rights

  • Yes

    This past year has seen some positive changes in this arena. I would like to see automatic voter registration for all citizens at 18.

  • Yes

    For people who have cars the distances and voting time availability might not seem like a burden. For those reliant on busses, especially in less dense areas where busses are infrequent and voting locations aren't just a few minutes away, need to have expanded options.

  • Yes

    It is important that people reentering society after incarceration see they are being welcomed back into, rather than excluded from, society.

Pledge To Vote In The 2022 Primary And General Elections

The issues you care about are on the ballot in 2022. Sign on to our pledge to receive updates about our ACLU Voter campaign, including opportunities to assist with voter registration, education, and candidates’ forums.