Brett Henninger

Class of 2013

Photo of Brett Henninger
Education: BS Biology, currently pursuing MS in Biology


Brett was interested in the CIRM program due to his fascination with molecular and cellular biology. He believes that stem cell research can not only provide cures for many diseases but also for understanding how cells function in general. He is especially interested in the process of differentiation of pluripotent stem cells and how this research may be used in investigating different forms of cancer. After he graduates from the CIRM program, he intends to either continue his education and receive a PhD in some aspect of molecular biology or begin a career involving cancer research.

Brett worked with Karl Willert at UCSD. The overall goal of his project was to study the mechanism by which WNT signaling maintains an undifferentiated state in neuronal progenitor cells (NPCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) through the SP5 transcription factor. Studying of this pathway allowed for a better understanding of neuronal differentiation. His role in the project was to establish an inducible SP5 overexpression system through a lenti viral construct. He was also responsible for creating a stable hESC cell line that has incorporated a SP5-YFP fusion protein by homologous recombination after infection with an adeno associated virus (AAV).

After graduating, Brett obtained a position as a Business Development Associate for MD Revolution.

Brett, presenting his Internship Research at the 2013 CIRM Trainee Meeting.