Rochester, Minnesota




Richard B. Kennedy, Ph.D., studies the development of immune responses after vaccination. His research focuses primarily on vaccines against viral pathogens, such as poxviruses, influenza, measles and rubella. The goal of these efforts is to understand why some individuals develop robust immunity while others experience adverse events or fail to respond to a vaccine.

Focus areas

  • Studying the role of host genetic variation in viral vaccine response
  • Identifying human leukocyte antigen class I and II epitopes for viral pathogens
  • Optimizing and testing epitope-based vaccines that incorporate a variety of immunostimulatory adjuvants
  • Investigating the effects of age and immunosenescence on influenza and vaccine-induced immunity
  • Elucidating the role of microRNAs on natural killer (NK) cells and T cell responses to viral vaccines
  • Utilizing systems biology and vaccinomics approaches to better understand the complex interactions that occur during the development of vaccine response with the goal of predicting and controlling vaccine-induced immune responses and adverse events

Significance to patient care

Dr. Kennedy's research goal is to better understand how immune responses develop after vaccination. This knowledge can be applied toward improving current vaccines and informing the development of new vaccines that protect against existing and newly emerging pathogens.

Professional highlights

  • Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4), Emory University Science and Safety Training Program, 2007
  • Research associate training award, Great Lakes Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, 2007
  • Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3), Cognitive and Practical Biosafety Education for Host-Pathogen Investigator, Great Lakes Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, 2006


See my publications


Academic Rank

  1. Assistant Professor of Medicine


  1. PhD Immunology Track, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. BS - Microbiology Minors in Chemistry and Italian Brigham Young University

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