Kevin McKernan

Sequencing the Cannabis Genome

Chief Scientific Officer at Courtagen Life Sciences and Founder of Medicinal Genomics

Kevin is the CSO of Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc. Prior to joining Courtagen, Kevin was the founder and CEO of Medicinal Genomics Corporation. Medicinal Genomics has pioneered the genomics of cannabis and hemp to build a stronger scientific environment for the study of cannabis based therapeutics and hemp based fiber, food and fuels. In December of 2011, Medicinal Genomics Corporation was acquired by Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc.

Previously, Kevin held the position of Vice President and Director of R&D of Life Technologies where he managed the development of Life Technologies next generation SOLiD sequencing technology. Integral to the SOLiD R&D process, Kevin oversaw over 100 research collaborations exploring the new biological frontiers with next generation sequencing and saw particular excitement and traction in human tumor sequencing. Kevin initiated an R&D project to investigate chemFET semiconductor based DNA sequencing and spearheaded a process to acquire the DNA sequencing company, Ion Torrent, for $350M. These collaborations resulted in hundreds of publications and seven journal covers from Science Translational Medicine to Nature.

Kevin was the President and CSO of Agencourt Personal Genomics, a startup company he co-founded in 2005 to invent revolutionary sequencing technologies that dropped the cost of sequencing a human genome from $300M to $3,000; a 100,000-fold improvement in sequencing speed and cost in a few years. Kevin oversaw the growth and research of APG which was sold it to ABI in 2006. In 2000, Kevin co-founded Agencourt Biosciences Corporation and acted as the CSO until 2005 when it was acquired by Beckman Coulter who had an expressed interest in nucleic acid testing and blood diagnostics. From 1996 to 2000, Kevin managed the Research and Development for the Human Genome Project at Whitehead Institute/MIT which resulted in several patents for nucleic acid purification. Kevin holds a B.S. in Biology from Emory University with a focus on cloning and expressing Norepinephrine Transporters.