Kramer was born in New York City at New York Hospital. He was raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan where he ate really great bagels and rye bread, played all sorts of sports, spent a lot of time in Central Park, read many wonderful books, and attended these fine educational institutions: the Nursery School of All Souls Church, Public School Six (kindergarten), The Collegiate School (grades 1-8) and Regis High School (grades 9-12).He went off to Amherst College in Massachusets where he majored in Russian Literature and spent a substantial amount of time studying geology and history.
After graduating, Kramer went to Penn State Geosciences where he received an M.S. in 2000, measuring gases trapped in a South American ice core. He worked on his Ph.D. which paved the way to greater understanding of how bacteria interact with environmental materials.
Kramer spent about half his time in south Philadelphia with remarkably patient relatives.
Dr. Campen persued his Ph.D. at Penn State University in collaboration with the Borguet Group. In May of 2007, Kramer graduated and took a Post-Doctoral position at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF) in Amsterdam where he studied the physical chemistry of membrane/lipsome/water and mineral/water interfaces.
In 2012 Dr. Campen accepted a position as Leader of Interfacial Molecular Spectroscopy Group in the Physical Chemistry Department of Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin, Germany.