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Student Spotlight: Brianna Feld

How did you become interested in Bioethics?

I became interested in Bioethics during my stem cell research internship. I took numerous biology and translation medicine courses, but I had never seriously considered studying ethical issues until my stem cell research internship. During this time, I came across Henrietta Lack’s story, and I was fascinated by the ethical issues that arose from the biological advancements and discoveries related to her. Lack’s story resonated with me because it relates to my research and experience with cell and tissue culture. The field of Bioethics harmonizes my passion for science, empathy and compassion for others, and justice.

What are some of your hobbies?

I absolutely love second-hand thrift fashion. Fashion has always been an interest and passion of mine, and as the youngest of four children, I had the opportunity to be introduced to second-hand fashion early on. As soon as I was old enough to ride a bicycle, I was gallivanting to garage sales at six years old, eventually graduating my way up to Goodwill and local consignment stores. The satisfaction and joy in finding unique treasures among others’ unwanted clothes are why I strive only to support second-hand clothing. Additionally, it reduces the volume of textile waste in landfills, discourages fast-fashion culture, and supports local charities and small businesses.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? 

I plan to use my technical translational research experience in combination with my science literacy and passion for communication to bridge the gap between science and the public understanding of science in addition to advocating for those affected by bioethical issues.

What was the scariest situation you have found yourself in?

As I was hiking with my sister in the Navarro Redwoods in Mendocino County, I saw a tall tree stump in the distance that I felt drawn to explore. After investigating the area, I felt content and had a seat, which I quickly discovered to be a wasps’ nest. I attempted to carefully step away from their home but soon found myself completely covered in a swarm of wasps. One sting became three, and it was not until we ran back to the car that I realized I received over twenty stings. It was still one of my favorite days of my life. I was incredibly shocked at how calm I was amid this terrifying experience, but it taught me acceptance and appreciation for myself regardless of environment or circumstance. Also, do not sit down in the forest.

Academic/Career Accomplishments


  • Feld, Brianna, Benavente, Francisca, Nishi, Rebecca, Anderson, AJ. Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, Irvine CA (2019). Complement C3a-C3aR Interaction: A novel Mechanism to Target Glioblastoma Stem Cells. 2019 CIRM Bridges Meeting in San Mateo, CA.


  • Feld, BG, Reish, Donald J. (2016). Male-Female Behavior in the Polychaetous Annelid Neanthes Arenaceodentata. The Southern California Academy of Science (SCAS) at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.


  • Francisca Benavente , Katja Piltti , Dr. Mitra J. Hooshmand , Aileen A. Nava , Dr. Anita Lakatos , Brianna G. Feld , Ms. Dana Creasman , Dr. Paul D. Gershon , Aileen Anderson  Novel C1q receptor-mediated signaling controls human neural stem cell behavior and neurorepair. eLife. 2020. 



  • CIRM funded internship performing stem cell research at the University of California, Irvine.



  • Certificate in Biotechnology, Post-Baccalaureate Program

May 2019California State University, Long Beach – Long Beach, CA


  • Pathways to Stem Cells

Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Techniques Certificate



  • Bachelor of Science, Biological Sciences: Option in Molecular Cell Biology & Physiology

Minor: Chemistry, May 2017 California State University, Long Beach – Long Beach, CA

LMU Bioethics Institute Logo thinking man sitting on microscope
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