Caleb Kennedy, PhD

Manager, Translational Bioinformatics, Be The Match/National Marrow Donor Program


Population Health Meets Precision Medicine: What’s a Technologist to Do?

Healthcare cost trends are driving lots of innovation in both policy and science, and on the surface these trends are at odds. Population health focuses on managing cost through standardization and efficiency through understanding practical outcomes in populations as a whole and managing to the mean. At the same time, the cost of diagnostics continue to fall at a rate that promises unprecedented mass customization of treatment to optimize the outcome for each individual. In this presentation, we review these trends, explain the current mandates, initiatives, economics, and science that drive them, and then step back to look at the research, technologies, and products that are developing and where smart companies are putting their time and money.

What you’ll learn:

  • Understand policy initiatives driving population health and precision medicine investments
  • Learn how market segments have evolved to address both trends
  • An overview of the ways that technology is contributing to both trends
  • Understand what limits these ideas from reaching their full potential and how these trends will either collide or combine (or both)


Dr. Kennedy leads a team of NMDP scientists and engineers who build algorithms and software to improve transplant outcomes for patients with blood cancer. This work necessarily spans disciplines and technologies. Active research areas are high-throughput (next-generation) DNA sequencing, web- and cloud-based delivery of new histocompatibility biomarkers, machine learning, and data mining. Caleb’s experience in the biotechnology industry includes positions at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Good Start Genetics, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Caleb holds BS and MS degrees in molecular and cellular biology from Texas A&M University and a PhD in genetics from Harvard University.