Sean Hennessy, PharmD, PhD

faculty photo
Professor of Epidemiology in Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Department: Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
University of Pennsylvania
423 Guardian Drive
803 Blockley Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021
Office: 215-898-9112
Fax: 215-573-5315
BS (Pharmacy)
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, 1989.
PharmD (Clinical Pharmacy)
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, 1990.
MSCE (Clinical Epidemiology)
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1996.
PhD (Epidemiology with Biostatistics minor)
University of Pennsylvania, 2002.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Hennessy conducts research in the field of pharmacoepidemiology, which is the study of the health effects of drugs and other medical products in populations. His team identified a survival benefit of potassium supplementation in users of loop diuretics, and studied serious health consequences of drug-drug interactions involving high-risk drugs including anticoagulants, antidiabetic agents and antiplatelet agents. His research has produced crucial knowledge about the cardiovascular safety of many widely-used drugs for mental health conditions in including ADHD, depression, and schizophrenia. He also evaluated an early approach to using medical insurance data to improve prescribing, finding it ineffective despite its federal mandate. This contributed to the omission of a requirement for drug utilization review programs in Medicare Part D. He co-led a pair of studies demonstrating the effectiveness and safety of the SA14-14-2 vaccine for Japanese encephalitis (JE), which subsequently led to the immunization of millions of children per year in populous countries including Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Use of that vaccine has been credited with reducing the incidence of JE. He co-developed the trend-in-trend research design for studying the effects of rapidly increasing or declining exposures. He was the senior author of one of two citizen petitions to the US Food and Drug Administration that led to re-labeling of metformin, the best-proven oral drug for diabetes, to permit its use in persons with mild to moderate renal insufficiency.

Description of Other Expertise

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. In 2015 he began a three-year term on the board of directors of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He is a co-editor of the books Pharmacoepidemiology, 5th edition and Textbook of Pharmacoepidemiology, 2nd edition.

Additional Positions:
Director, Center for Pharmacoepidemiology Research & Training
Senior Scholar, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Director, Pharmacoepidemiology Concentration of the Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology Program
Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
Fellow, Institute on Aging
Co-Chair, Drug Use and Effects Committee, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Member, Pharmacy Council, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Courses Led:
EPI 666: Pharmacoepidemiology Research Methods

1998 Stanley A. Edlavitch Award for Best Abstract Submitted by a Student, International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology
2002 Saul Winegrad Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania
2005 Young Alumnus Award, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
2008 Leon I Goldberg Young Investigator Award, American Society for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics
2013 Samuel Martin Health Evaluation Sciences Research Award, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
2014 Julius W. Sturmer Memorial Lecture Award, Alpha Tau Chapter of the Rho Chi Society, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, University of the Sciences
2015 Elected Member, National Academy of Medicine

Selected Publications

Na L, Hennessy S, Xie S, Saliba D, Pan Q, Kwong P, Kurichi J, Bogner HR, Streim JE.: Premorbid activity limitation stages are associated with post-hospitalization discharge disposition. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2018 (forthcoming).

Leonard CE, Brensinger CM, Aquilante CL, Bilker WB, Boudreau DM, Deo R, Flory JH, Gagne JJ, Mangaali MJ, Hennessy S: Comparative safety of sulfonylureas and the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and ventricular arrhythmia. Diabetes Care 2018 (forthcoming).

Miano TA, Lautenbach E, Wilson FP, Guo W, Borovskiy Y, Hennessy S: Attributable risk and time course of colistin associated acute kidney injury. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2018 (forthcoming).

Ertefaie A, Small DS, Ji X, Leonard CE, Hennessy S: Statistical power for the trend-in-trend design. Epidemiology 2018 (DOI:10.1097/EDE.0000000000000803).

Leonard CE, Han X, Brensinger CM, Bilker WB, Cardillo S, Flory JH, Hennessy S: Comparative risk of serious hypoglycemia with oral antidiabetic monotherapy: a retrospective cohort study. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 27: 9-18, 2018

Acton EK, Leonard CE, Bilker WB, Phansalkar S, Hennessy S: Lost in translation: No effect of a high-profile publication on the concomitant use of interacting drugs. Clinical and Translational Science 2017 (doi:10.1111/cts.12494).

Miano T, Cuker A, Christie J, Smith B, Martin N, Makley A, Guo W, Hennessy S: Comparative effectiveness of enoxaparin vs. dalteparin for thromboprophylaxis after traumatic injury. Chest 2017 (doi:10.1016/j.chest.2017.08.008).

Zhou M, Wang SV, Leonard CE, Gagne JJ, Fuller C, Hampp C, Archdeacon P, Toh S, Iyer A, Woodworth TS, Cavagnaro E, Panozza C, Axtman S, Carnahan RM, Chrischilles, Hennessy S: Pilot test of the sentinel modular program for propensity-score matched cohort analyses: application to glyburide, glipizide, and serious hypoglycemia. Epidemiology 2017 (doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000709).

Lo Re V, Zeldow B, Kallan M, Tate J, Carbonari D, Hennessy S, Kostman J, Lim J, Goetz M, Gross R, Justice A, Roy J: Risk of Liver Decompensation with Cumulative Use of Mitochondrial Toxic Nucleoside Analogues in HIV/Hepatitis C Virus Coinfection. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 2017 (DOI: 10.1002/pds.4258).

Rowan C, Flory J, Gerhard T, Cuddeback J, Stempniewicz N, Lewis JD, Hennessy S: Agreement and validity of electronic health record prescribing data relative to pharmacy claims data: A validation study from an electronic health record database. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 2017 (DOI: 10.1002/pds.4234).

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Last updated: 01/23/2018
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