He was educated at Forest School London and Emmanuel College, Cambridge England. He received his medical degree and subsequent Ph.D. from Cambridge University, England. In the 1980s, he was a Lecturer in Hematology at Royal Free Hospital in London. In 1990, he left the UK to work in St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis as the director for the Bone Marrow Transplant Division.
There, he conducted one of the first human gene therapy studies when he transduced bone marrow stem cells with a retroviral vector with the intention of marking them to study their survival and fate. This seminal study demonstrated that engrafted bone marrow stem cells contribute to long-term hematopoiesis and also that contaminating tumor cells in autografts can cause relapse. In 1994, he became the director of St. Jude's Cell and Gene Therapy Program.
He was President of the International Society for Cellular Therapy and President of the American Society of Gene Therapy in 2002–2003. He was appointed Editor in Chief of the journal Molecular Therapy in 2009.
Dr. Brenner was appointed Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy. Dr. Brenner's is a full-time faculty member for the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Texas Children's Cancer Center and the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
- Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT)
- International Society for Cellular Therapy
- American Society of Gene & Cellular Therapy
- Molecular Therapy
- "Brenner's origins in the UK". Retrieved 2007-05-30.[dead link]
- "Giant Step for Gene Therapy". Time Magazine (Initial work on gene marking). 1990-09-24. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
- "Center for Cell and Gene Therapy". Retrieved 2007-05-30.
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