Marius Wernig was born in Innsbruck, Austria. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and continued his clinical studies at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. There he joined the laboratory of Rudi Balling to perform his Ph.D. thesis on the effects of valproate on skeletal development and the mechanism of its teratogenicity. After graduation, he began residency program in neuropathology at the University of Bonn, Germany under supervision of Otmar D. Wiestler. At that institute, he joined the laboratory of Oliver Brüstle working on neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells.
For his postdoctoral training, Dr. Wernig worked in the laboratory of Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he spearheaded one of the few research groups worldwide to successfully create pluripotent stem cells from mouse skin cells. He recently was recruited to the faculty of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and the Department of Pathology at Stanford University. His laboratory at Stanford is working on the epigenetic regulation of stem and somatic cells. His research team recently isolated defined factors that induce the direct conversion of skin fibroblasts into functional neurons. If he hadn’t become a scientist, Dr. Wernig might have pursued his passion for performing and composing music. Some of his work has been performed by prestigious venues such as the Cologne Opera House and the Bonn Beethoven Orchestra.
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