Robert Kennedy

Hobart H. Willard Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry; Professor of Pharmacology

Ph.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Research Focus: Signal Transduction Analysis in Neuroendocrine Systems; Drug-Screening

Phone: 734.615.4363
E-mail: rtkenn@umich.edu

Our laboratory believes that the progress in science can be made through better measurement techniques. To that end, we are developing novel microfluidic, electrophoretic, electrochemical, and mass spectrometric techniques that can be used for a variety of problems in chemical biology. We are using droplet microfluidics interfaced to mass spectrometry to enable high-throughput screening at the nanoliter scale without requiring labels. This technology can be used to screen for drugs and chemical probes of enzymes and protein-protein interactions. We are presently screening for modulators of sirtuins and chaperone proteins. This technology can also be used to evolve enzymes for specific reactions. Another thrust of the group has been to develop new ways to measure neurochemicals in vivo. This allows the concentration dynamics of neurotransmitters to be correlated to behavior, drugs, and pathophysiology, e.g. Parkinson's Disease. We have developed microfluidic and LC-MS methods for these measurements. A third thrust of the group is to better understand insulin and glucagon secretion and how they are disrupted in type 2 diabetes. We are using LC-MS based metabolomics and sensors to measure release at single cells to study hormone secretion.

Kennedy Research Group



Eastern Analytical Separation Science Award
Golay Award for Lifetime Achievement in Chromatography
2010 McKnight Award for Technical Innovations in Neuroscience
2009 Rackham Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award
2008-2018 MERIT Award, NIBIB

Representative Publications

  1. Zhu, Shuaishuai; Larkin, Dennis; Lu, Shusheng; Inouye, Candice; Haataja, Leena; Anjum, Arfah; Kennedy, Robert; Castle, David; Arvan, Peter (2015) “Monitoring C-peptide Storage and Secretion in Islet Beta Cells in vitro and in vivo” Diabetes, in press.

  2. Zhou Y, Wong JM, Mabrouk OS, Kennedy RT (2015) “Reducing Adsorption To Improve Recovery and in Vivo Detection of Neuropeptides by Microdialysis with LC-MS” Analytical Chemistry87:9802-9809.

  3. ElAzzouny MA, Evans CR, Burant CF, Kennedy RT. (2015) “Metabolomics Analysis Reveals that AICAR Affects Glycerolipid, Ceramide and Nucleotide Synthesis Pathways in INS-1 Cells” PLoS One 10:e0129029.

  4. Pappas SS, Darr K, Holley SM, Cepeda C, Mabrouk OS, Wong JM, LeWitt TM, Paudel R, Houlden H, Kennedy RT, Levine MS, Dauer WT (2015) “Forebrain deletion of the dystonia protein torsinA causes dystonic-like movements and loss of striatal cholinergic neurons” ELife 4, e08352.

  5. Duan L, Mabrouk OS, Liu T, Tian F, Xu G, Mathur A, Crooks CP, Kennedy RT, Wang MM, Ghanbari H, Borjigin J. (2015) “Surge of corticocortical and corticocardiac neurotransmissionsin dying animals” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 112: E2073-82.

  6. Patterson CM, Wong JM, Leinninger GM, Allison MB, Mabrouk OS, Kasper CL, Gonzalez IE, Mackenzie A, Jones JC, Kennedy RT, Myers MG Jr. (2015) Ventral tegmental area neurotensin signaling links the lateral hypothalamus to locomotor activity and striatal dopamine efflux in male mice. Endocrinology, 156:1692-1700.

  7. Cepeda DE, Hains L, Li D, Bull J, Lentz SI, Kennedy RT. (2015) “Experimental evaluation and computational modeling of tissue damage from low-flow push-pull perfusion sampling in vivo.” Journal of Neuroscience Methods 242C:97-105.

  8. Kuo S, Zhou Y, Kim HM, Kato H, Kim RY, Bayar GR, Marcelo CL, Kennedy RT, Feinberg SE. (2015) “Biochemical indicators of implantation success of tissue-engineered oral mucosa” Journal of Dental Research 94:78-84.