Brian Brennan earned his BS in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry from Loyola University Chicago in 2001. He then completed his PhD at the University of Michigan in 2007 under the direction of Anna Mapp, where his work involved the development of small molecules capable of activating gene expression. He then went on to a faculty position at Illinois Wesleyan University and was promoted to associate professor in 2013. Since arriving at IWU, work in the Brennan Lab has centered on the development of novel treatments for sickle cell disease. Their approach focuses on the use of peptides and peptidomimetics as agents capable of blocking hemoglobin polymerization, the key step leading to malformation of red blood cells. The Brennan Lab uses phage display and combinatorial libraries in an effort to identify promising molecules.