About Me

Me with my lovely wife


Hi, I’m a PhD scientist at the California Institute of Technology (commonly known as Caltech). My official title there is ‘Postdoctoral Research Scholar’ in the biology division.

I come from a family where a lot of people are obese (mostly on my mother’s side). Growing up in elementary, middle school, and high school I was the fat kid of my school. In high school I started getting active in sports; but it wasn’t until college where I really got fit. My first quarter of college I joined the club rowing team and lost 50 pounds in 11 weeks. The next quarter I joined the varsity team as a lightweight rower and trained extensively until my senior year. Since then I’ve still rowed but restarted emphasizing weight training and different types of cross training (martial arts, running, etc.). Leading up to my wedding I gained about 15 pounds and didn’t really notice until after the honeymoon. That is what got me into monitoring what I am eating and my physical activity. In the past year I have lost about 10 lbs, mostly due to marathon training.

Since then I’ve spent most of my time doing Beachbody workouts (P90X and Insanity). In the past few months I’ve been able to drop my body fat from 22% to ~8%. I’ve seen so much success teaming up Beachbody workouts and nutrition with Fatsecret that I’m definitely going to keep working hard to improve my health.

Feel free to check out my websites:
Brandon’s Coach Page
Shakeology Page


Brandon Jarrod Henderson, Ph.D.


Undergraduate: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2002-2006, B.S. with distinction, Chemistry.

Graduate: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2006-2011, Ph.D., Pharmacology.

Postdoctoral:  California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 2011-Present.


Peer Reviewed Publications

  1. Srinivasan, R.; Henderson, B.J.; Lester, H.A.; and Richards, C.I. (2014) Pharmacological chaperoning of nAChRs: a new therapeutic target for Parkinson’s disease. Pharmacol Res. Accepted
  1. Henderson, B.J.; Srinivasan, R.; Nichols, W.N.; Dilworth, C.; Gutierrez, D.F.; McKinney, S.; Mackey, E.D.W.; Drenan, R.M.; Richards, C.I.; and Lester, H.A. (2014) Nicotine exploits a COPI-mediated process for chaperone-mediated upregulation of its receptors. J Gen Physiol. 143, 51-56. Cover Article
  1. Yi, B.; Long, S., González-Cestari, T.F.; Henderson, B.J., Pavlovicz, R.E., Werbovetz, K., Li, C., and McKay, D.B. (2013) Discovery of Benzamide Analogs as Negative Allosteric Modulators of Human Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors: Pharmacophore Modeling, Rational Design, and Structure-Activity Relationship Studies. Bioorg Med Chem 21, 4730-4743.
  1. Henderson, B.J.; González-Cestari, T.F.; Yi, B.; Pavlovicz, R.E.; Boyd, R.T.; Li, C.; Bergmeier, S.C., and McKay, D.B.  (2012) Defining the Putative Inhibitory Site for a Selective Negative Allosteric Modulator of Human α4β2 Neuronal Nicotinic Receptors. ACS Chem Neurosci 3, 682-692.
  1. Henderson, B.J.; Orac, C.M.; Maciagiewicz, I; Bergmeier, S.B.; and McKay D.B. (2012) QSAR and QSSR models of negative allosteric modulators targeting nicotinic acetylcholine receptors facilitate the design of a novel selective antagonist of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 22, 1797-1813.
  1. Henderson, B.J.; Carper, D.J.; González-Cestari, T.F.; Yi B.; Dalefield, M.L.; Coleman, R.S.; McKay, D.B. (2012) Synthesis and Structure activity relationship studies of novel piperazine analogs as novel negative allosteric modulators of neuronal nicotinic receptors. J Med Chem 54, 8681-8692.
  1. Still P.C., González-Cestari, T.F., Pan, L., Chai, H., Fuchs, J.R, Ngoc Ninh, T., Soejarto, D.D., Yi, B., Henderson, B.J., McKay, D.B., Kinghorn, A.D. (2012) Alkaloids from Grewia Paniculata with cytotoxic and non-competitive nicotinic receptor antagonistic activities. Planta Med 78, CL11. DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1320246
  1. Mahasenan, K.V.; Pavlovicz, R.E.; Henderson, B.J.; González-Cestari, T.F.; Yi B.; McKay, D.B.; and Li, C. (2011) Discovery of novel α4β2 neuronal nicotinic receptor modulators through structure-based virtual screening. ACS Med Chem Lett 2, 855-860.
  1. Pavlovicz, R.E.; Henderson, B.J.; Bonnell, A.B.; Boyd, R.T.; and McKay, D.B.; Li, C. (2011) Identification of a novel negative allosteric site on human α4β2 and α3β4 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. PLoS ONE 6(9): e24949. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024949
  1. Henderson, B.J.; Pavlovicz, R.E.; Allen, J.A.; González-Cestari, T.F.; Orac, C.M.; Bonnell, A.B.; Zhu, M.X.; Boyd, R.T.; Li, C.; Bergmeier, S.C., and McKay, D.B. (2010) Negative allosteric modulators that target human α4β2 neuronal nicotinic receptors. J Pharmacol Exp Therap 334, 761-774. Cover Article
  1. González-Cestari, T.F.; Henderson, B.J.; Pavlovicz, R.E. McKay; S.B., El-Hajj, R.A.; Pulipaka, A,B.; Orac, C.M.; Reed, D.D.; Boyd, R.T.; Zhu, M.X.; Li, C.; Bergmeier, S.C.; and McKay, D.B. (2009) Effect of novel negative allosteric modulators of neuronal nicotinic receptors on cells expressing native and recombinant nicotinic receptors: Implications for drug discovery. J Pharmacol Exp Therap 328, 504-515
  1. Henderson, B.J. and Olesik, J.W. (2006) Use of Ion Molecule Reactions in Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) to Improve Selenium Analysis and Detection. Knowledge Bank, http://hdl.handle.net/1811/6574


Publications (In Review)

  1. Srinivasan, R.; Henderson, B.J.; Henley, B.M.; Indersmitten, T.; Mckinney, S.; Deshpande, P.; Xiao, C.; and Lester, H.A. Smoking-relevant nicotine concentration inhibits the unfolded protein response in dopaminergic neurons. In Reivew. J Neurosci.
  1. Nichols, W.A.; Henderson, B.J.; Yu, C.Y.; Parker, R.L.; Richards, C.I.; Lester, H.A.; and Miwa, J.M. Lynx1 shifts α4β2 nicotinic receptor subunit stoichiometry by affecting assembly in the endoplasmic reticulum.


Publications (In Preperation)

  1. Henderson, B.J.; Nichols, W.A.; Srinivasan, R.; and Lester, H.A. Menthol alone upregulates nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and alters subunit stoichiometry.
  1. Nichols, W.A.; Henderson, B.J.; Yu, C.Y.; Marotta, C.B.; Richards, C.I.; Dougherty, D.A.; Cohen, B.N.; and Lester, H.A. The V287L mutation in the β2 nicotinic acetylcholine subunit alters membrane expression of α4β2 and α5α4β2.

Press Releases

Rockefeller University Press. Nicotine exploits COPI to foster addiction. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-12/rup-nec121913.php


Anand, R. COPI polices nicotine-mediated up-regulation of nicotinic receptors. J Gen Physiol. 143, 49-50.


  1. Lester, H.A.; Srinivasan, R.; Richards, C.I.; and Henderson, B.J. (2013) Neuroprotection by pharmacological chaperoning of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. US Patent Application 13/752,288. Publication number: US20130197023 A1

Editorial Activities

2012-Present. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Peer Reviewer

2012-Present. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Peer Reviewer

2012-Present. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Peer Reviewer


Awards, Honors and Recognitions

  • NIDA NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow, 2012-current
  • TRDRP Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, 2012

(Awarded; but deferred in favor of awarded NRSA)

  • NIDA Minority Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2012

(Awarded; but deferred in favor of awarded NRSA)

  • NIDA Travel Award, 2010
  • NIDA Diversity Enhancement Pre-doctoral Fellowship Award, 2009-2011
  • Chauncey D. Leake Memorial Award in Pharmacology, 2010
  • Norman J. Uretsky Fellowship in Pharmacology, 2010-2011.
  • Patil Graduate Fellowship in Pharmacology, 2009-2010
  • Second Place, Poster Presentation, College of Pharmacy Research Day, The Ohio State University, May 2009.
  • Third Place, Denman Undergraduate Research Forum, The Ohio State University, May 2006
  • National Collegiate Scholar Athlete, 2002-2004, 2006
  • National Deans’ List, 2002-2004, 2006
  • National Collegiate Honor Roll, 2002
  • Full Academic Scholarship, the Ohio State University, 2002-2006


Professional Societies and Activities

International Drug Abuse Research Society, 2012-Present

American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists, 2010-Present

Society for Neuroscience, 2009-Present

American Chemical Society, 2004-Present

National Collegiate Honor Society, 2002-2006


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