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Professor Kennedy grew up in Scotland, and was trained in Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. His first degree was in Biochemistry, following which he obtained a medical degree from the University of Edinburgh. After graduation, he commenced training in Internal Medicine and in Endocrinology. He was awarded a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Edinburgh for his work on thyroid autoimmunity. Professor Kennedy completed his specialty training in Lecturer posts with the Universities of Cambridge and Sheffield. While in Sheffield, he obtained his PhD working on thyroid growth and development. Following this he was appointed to a post as Senior Lecturer and Consultant Physician at the University of Edinburgh. In 1996, he was appointed to the Foundation Chair of Medicine at City Hospitals Sunderland where he continued to carry out teaching, research and clinical work.
In 2005, Lee moved to Australia, taking up the post of Professor of Medicine at James Cook University in Far North Queensland. During his time in this post, he served as Acting Head of School and Director of Students. He continued to work in community-based diabetes clinics, and served populations in Far North and West Queensland.
In 2011, Lee moved to Deakin University as Professor of Medicine, a joint appointment with Barwon Health. He took over from Professor Brendan Crotty as Head of the Medical School at Deakin University in June 2012.
Professor Kennedy's research interests lie in obesity, vascular complications of diabetes, and the use of information technology in medicine. Lee has published widely in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, including being lead author of four books.
Professor Kennedy is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and of London, as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.