Anton Berns closed his research lab in 2019 which he started at the NKI in 1986. He also served as scientific director and chair of the board of directors of the NKI from 1999 to 2011. Currently, he is still very active as scientific and policy advisor.
His research group used mouse models, particularly for lung cancer and mesothelioma, which are two of the deadliest cancers, to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of cancer progression with the aim of developing methods to cure it. Over the years he identified important oncogenes and studied the role of these gens in cancer progression. He made very important scientific contributions to the development of mouse models to study cancer; many of the models he developed are still in use.