Marius Wernig is an associate professor of pathology at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University. He graduated with an M.D./Ph.D. from the Technische Universität München, where he trained in developmental genetics in the lab of Rudi Balling. After completing his residency in neuropathology and general pathology at the University of Bonn, he became a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research/Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2008, Wernig joined the faculty of the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Stanford University, where he has been ever since.
Wernig received a National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award as well as many other awards, including the Cozzarelli Prize for outstanding scientific excellence from the National Academy of Sciences, the Outstanding Investigator Award from the International Society for Stem Cell Research and the New York Stem Cell Foundation Robertson Stem Cell Prize. More recently, he has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar.
Wernig’s lab is interested in pluripotent stem cell biology and the molecular determinants of neuronal cells fate decisions. His laboratory was the first to generate functional neuronal cells reprogrammed directly from skin fibroblasts, which he termed ‘induced neuronal cells’. The lab is now working on identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying induced lineage fate changes, the phenotypic consequences of disease-causing mutations in human neurons and other neural lineages as well as the development of novel therapeutic gene targeting and cell transplantation-based strategies for a variety of monogenetic disorders.