Sean P Kennedy, PhD, received his doctorate in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts studying the sequence and genetic structure of Archaea. He then took on a post-doc position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying protein structure, transcription initiation, and non-natural amino acids. Sean arrived at the CNRS in France in 2005. to study cell division and chromosome replication and later obtained a permanent research post at INRA to head the new NGS sequencing initiative, MetaQuant, studying the intestinal microbiota and its link with obesity. Through his experience in high-throughput sequencing and data analysis, Sean served a critical role in the sequence and analysis of metagenomic data for the European projects MetaHIT (obesity, IBS, Crohn’s Disease), EvoTAR (antibiotic resistance in hospitals) and MetaCardis (cardiovascular disease and diabetes) as well as many project with industrial partners involved in allergies and childhood development and disease. The MetaQuant team was a primary founder of the MetaGenoPolis Unit at INRA, financed by the French government’s “Investissements d’Avenir”.
Sean joined the Pasteur Institute in Paris in 2015 as the Director of the Biomics Pole. Here he initiated the introduction of long-read technology (PacBio / Nanopore), obtained ISO 9001 certification of DNA/RNA services and developed an active metagenomics research activity with several financed projects. Sean moved to the Department of Computational Biology in 2018 to focus on his research activities. His group, ‘Metagenomic Signals’ focuses on and machine learning and functional prediction to investigate the role the microbiota plays in health and well-being. Of particular interest is how mother-infant intestinal colonization occurs and how this transmission impacts the maturation of the immune system and contributes to health and disease later in life.