Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD

Office Location803, Blockley Hall
Office Phone215-898-9112

Faculty Information

CCEB AppointmentSenior Scholar, Epidemiology
Primary Faculty AppointmentAssociate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman SOM

Additional Positions

Associate Professor of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics

Director, Center for Pharmacoepidemiology Research and Training (CPeRT)

Co-Chair, Drug Use and Effects Committee, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics

Fellow, Institute on Aging

Regional Editor for the Americas, Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety

Research Statement

Dr. Hennessy’s primary field of interest is pharmacoepidemiology, which is the study of the health effects of drugs and other medical products in populations. He co-led a seminal pair of studies demonstrating the effectiveness and safety of a vaccine for Japanese encephalitis that has since led to the immunization of millions of children per year in North and South Korea, Nepal, India, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. He also evaluated an early approach to using medical insurance data to improve prescribing—and found it ineffective despite its federal mandate. His research has produced crucial knowledge about the cardiovascular safety of many widely-used drugs for mental health conditions in including ADHD, depression, schizophrenia. He has identified a survival benefit of potassium supplementation in diuretic users and studied serious health consequences of drug-drug interactions involving high-risk drugs including anticoagulants, antidiabetic agents and antiplatelet agents. He also conducts studies aimed at improving pharmacoepidemiology research methods.

In addition to his research, Dr. Hennessy directs Penn’s Center for Pharmacoepidemiology Research and Training (CPeRT) and Penn’s pharmacoepidemiology training programs. Dr. Hennessy teaches clinical epidemiology to medical and graduate students and is active in promoting evidence-based practice at Penn Medicine, co-chairing its Drug Use and Effects Committee and serving on its Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Dr. Hennessy’s clinical program has received two Quality and Safety Awards from the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Dr. Hennessy is a past scientific chair and past president of the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology, and has served on FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee. He begins a three-year term on the board of directors of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in March 2015. He is a co-editor of the books Pharmacoepidemiology, 5th edition and Textbook of Pharmacoepidemiology, 2nd edition and is Editor for the Americas of the journal Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety. Dr. Hennessy received the 2005 Young Alumnus Award from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, the 2007 Leon I Goldberg Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and the 2013 Samuel Martin Health Evaluation Sciences Research Award from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.

Courses Taught

EPID 666 - Pharmacoepidemiology Research

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