Prof. Richard Kennedy

Prof. Richard Kennedy is the Medical Director and Global VP of Biomarker Development at Almac Diagnostics and the McClay Professor in Medical Oncology at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen’s University of Belfast.

He graduated in medicine from Queen’s University Belfast in 1995. As a post-graduate he trained as a medical oncologist and received a PhD in Molecular Biology in 2004. From 2004-2007 he worked as an instructor in oncology at Harvard Medical School, USA, where he identified novel biomarkers and drug targets for cancer treatment. This work was published in several high impact journals and the associated patent was in-licensed by a Boston-based start up company (DNAR) in 2007. In August 2007 he joined Almac Diagnostics as the global director of diagnostics laboratories in the UK and USA.  In this role he has been involved in the design and delivery of clinical trial biomarkers on behalf of several large pharmaceutical companies. In 2011 he joined Queen’s University and established a research group focussed on various aspects of stratified medicine. He currently sits on the CR-UK new agents committee, the MRC Stratified Medicine Panel and the all-Ireland Breast Cancer Predict Consortium.

Title: “Development of genomic assays for multi- arm clinical trials in cancer”


There are an increasing number of molecular assays being developed to guide patient treatments. There is , however, often a limited amount of material available for analysis. Almac Diagnostics have therefore developed DNA and mRNA next generation sequencing based panels that have been analytically validated to deliver multiple Biomarkers from small amounts of material. An associated comprehensive patient report has been developed to guide the best treatment in oncology trials and eventually in standard clinical practice. The challenges to implementing these kind of Biomarker panels in clinical care will be discussed and how these are being overcome.

Major developments in pathology raise many questions. Be part of the discussion on the way forward.

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