Robert T. Kennedy, Ph.D.

Chair, Chemistry Department
Hobart Willard Distinguished University Professor
Professor of Chemistry, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Professor of Pharmacology, Medical School
Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, College of Engineering

4815 Chemistry

Office: 734-615-4363 Lab: 734-615-4376


Robert Kennedy is the Willard Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Michigan. Professor Kennedy earned a B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Florida (1984) and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina (1988). He was a post-doctoral fellow at North Carolina from 1989-1991.  He became professor of chemistry at the University of Florida in 1991 and served there for 11 years before moving to Michigan.  He teaches undergraduate courses in analytical chemistry and a graduate course on Chemical Separations. His research interests are analytical chemistry and its application to neuroscience, endocrinology, and biotechnology.  His group has developed instrumentation that couples sampling probes to capillary electrophoresis, capillary chromatography, mass spectrometry, and microfluidic assays for monitoring neurotransmitters in vivo.  These methods have been used for studying changes in neurotransmitter concentrations associated with behavior and diseases.  His group has also developed sensors and microfluidic devices for monitoring insulin secretion from pancreatic b-cells.  These methods are coupled with metabolomics to understand the biochemical mechanism of insulin secretion and perturbations associated with diabetes.  His group is also researching use of rapid electrophoretic and mass spectrometric assays as novel approaches to high-throughput screening.  His work has been recognized by several awards including two MERIT awards from the NIH, a Presidential Faculty Fellowship, a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, Beckman Young Investigator Award, ACS Findeis Award, McKnight Award for Technical Innovations in Neuroscience, and Golay Award for Achievements in Chromatography. He has held several service posts and is presently Associate Editor of Analytical Chemistry and Director of the Microfluidics in Biomedical Sciences Training Program at Michigan.

Areas of Interest

Regulation of the secretion of neurotransmitters and hormones in both central nervous and endocrine systems.  We are also developing novel approaches to high-throughput drug screening.

Honors & Awards

Marcel Golay Award for Lifetime Achievement in Capillary Chromatography, 2012
Eastern Analytical Symposium Award for Separation Science, 2012
McKnight Award for Technical Innovations in Neuroscience, 2010
Rackham Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, UM, 2009
MERIT Award, NIBIB, 2008-2018
MERIT Award, NIDDK, 2006-2016
Fellow of American Association for Advancement of Science, 2007
Named Lectures (selected from over 200 invited presentations): Clark Lecture series (West Virginia U., 2005), Boomer Lectures (U. Alberta, 2004), Conover Lecture (Vanderbilt U., 2004), Glaxo-Wellcome Lecture (U. North Carolina, 2000 and 2007), Abbott Lectures (U. Minnesota, 2007), Silver Jubilee Lecture, (Uppsala U., 2008), University of Florida Distinguished Visiting Professor (2009), West Lectureship (LSU, 2012), Centennial Lecture (U. Texas, 2013). O.K. Rice Lecture (U. North Carolina, 2013), Herron Lecture (Florida State U., 2015) 
American Microchemical Society’s Benedetti-Pichler Memorial Award, 2001
NSF Award for Special Creativity, 1999-2001
Denise Desty Memorial Award for Most Innovative Paper in Separations, 1998
ACS Findeis Award in Analytical Chemistry, 1998
University of Florida Research Foundation Professorship, 1997-2000
NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow/Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, 1996-1998
Teaching Improvement Program Award, University of Florida, 1995
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year Award, 1994-1995
Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 1995-1997
Lilly Analytical Research Fellow, 1994-1995
Beckman Young Investigator Award, 1994-1996
NSF National Young Investigator Award, 1993-1996
University of Florida Research Development Award, 1991-1992
NSF Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Chemistry, 1989-1991
ACS Analytical Division Summer Fellowship, 1987
Governor’s Board of Science and Technology Fellowship, 1984-1987



Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1988
B.S. Chemistry, University of Florida, 1984

Post-Doctoral Training

Postdoctoral fellow, North Carolina, 1989-1991

Published Articles or Reviews

Web Sites