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Bryana Henderson

Photo of Bryana Henderson


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 183-301

Pasadena, CA 91109

Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Laboratory Studies


Over the last decade, Dr. Bryana Henderson has used mass spectrometry and spectroscopy to study reactions in extreme environments. Since arriving at JPL as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow in 2012, she has studied chemistry of organics and prebiotic molecules in astronomical and planetary analogs, particularly focusing on understanding chemical evolution in icy, radiation-drenched environments like those found on Jupiter’s moon Europa. She is also working to develop new robust instrumentation for sensitive detection of organics in these challenging planetary environments. With wide-ranging applications of this work, her ultimate goal is to contribute towards understanding of the origins of life and habitability in our solar system and beyond.


  • 2011 Ph. D., M.S. (Physical Chemistry), UCLA. Graduate Advisor: Jeffrey I. Zink
  • 2005 B.A. (Chemistry), Lawrence University, Appleton, WI l

Selected Awards

  • 2018 Invited talk, “Towards a Better Understanding of Composition: Lab studies of Europa Environment Analogs,” Europa Deep Dive II, LPI, Houston, TX
  • 2017 Invited member of the “Unlocking the Climate Record Stored within Mars’ Polar Layered Deposits” study team. Workshop at the Keck Institute for Space Studies at Caltech
  • 2017 Organized/chaired session, “The Survival and Fate of Microbes and Molecules at the Near-Surface of Icy Worlds,” Astrobiology Science Conference, Mesa, AZ
  • 2017 Invited member of the “Cryogenic Comet Sample Return – Compelling New Science vs. Technological Challenges” study team. Workshop at the Keck Institute for Space Studies at Caltech
  • 2017 Invited talk, “Chemical processing in interstellar grains via electron and UV radiation,” 253rd ACS meeting, San Francisco, CA
  • 2016 Invited talk, “Frontiers of Solar System Chemistry: Chemistry and Icy Bodies” session, listed as a “Must-See Presenter,” 252nd ACS meeting, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2016 Invited talk, “How primitive are comets?” session, Bonn, Germany
  • 2015 Early Career Travel Grant (Outer Planets Assessment Group, OPAG)
  • 2014 American Astronomical Society International Travel Award (Exoplanet Summer Course in the Canary Islands)
  • 2012-2014 NASA Postdoctoral Scholar Fellowship
  • 2011 American Chemical Society WCC/Eli Lilly Travel Award
  • 2005-2010 Regents Scholarship, University Fellowship (UCLA)
  • 2009 NASA Group Achievement Award

Selected Publications

  1. Postberg, F., Khawaja, N., Abel, B., Choblet, G., Glein, C., Gudipati, M.S., Henderson, B.L. Hsu, H., Kempf, S., Klenner, F. Moragas-Klostermeyer, G., Magee, B., Nölle, L., Perry, M., Reviol, R., Schmidt, J., Srama, R., Stolz, F., Tobie, G., Trieloff, M., Waite, J.H. (2018). "Macromolecular organic compounds emerge from deep hydrothermal sites on Enceladus." Nature, in press.
  2. Menlyadiev, M., B. L. Henderson, F. Zhong, Y. Lin & I. Kanik (2018). "Extraction of Amino Acids using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide for in Situ Chemical Analysis for Astrobiological Applications." International Journal of Astrobiology, Apr: p.1-10
  3. Henderson, B.L., Gudipati, M., (2015).  Direct Detection of Complex Organic Products in Irradiated Astrophysical Ice Analogs. The Astrophysical Journal, 800(1), 66.
  4. Henderson, B.L., Gudipati, M.S. (2014).  Plume Composition and Evolution in Multi-Component Ices Using Resonant Two-Step Laser Ablation and Ionization Mass Spectrometry (2S-LAIMS). Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 118 (2014) 5454-5463.
  5. Brown, J.W., Henderson, B.L., Kiesz, M.D., Whalley, A.C., Morris, W., Grunder, S., Deng, H., Furukawa, H., Zink, J.I., Stoddart, & J.F.,Yaghi, O.M. (2013). Photophysical pore control in an azobenzene-containing metal-organic framework. Chemical Physics, 4(7), 2858-2864.
  6. Lau, Y.A., Henderson, B.L., Lu, J., Ferris, D.P., Tamanoi, F., & Zink, J.I. (2012). Continuous Spectroscopic Measurements of Photo-Stimulated Release of Molecules by Nanomachines in a Single Living Cell. Nanoscale, 4(11), 3482-3489.
  7. Kuzmanich, G., Simoncelli, S., Gard, M., Spaenig, F., Henderson, B.L., Guldi, D., Garcia-Garibay, M. (2011). Excited State Kinetics in Crystalline Solids: Self-Quenching in Nanocrystals of 4,4'-Disubstituted Benzophenone Triplets Occurs by an n-Type Mechanism. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133(43), 17296–17306.
  8. George, S., Pokhrel, S., Ji, Z., Henderson, B.L., Xia, T., Linjiang, L., Zink, J.I., Nel, A.E., Mädler, L.  (2011). Role of Fe doping in tuning the band gap of TiO2 for photo-oxidation induced cytotoxicity paradigm. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 133(29), 11270–11278.
  9. Creilson, J.K., Pippin, M.R., Henderson, B.L., Ladd, I.H., Fishman, J., Votápková, D., & Krpcová, I.  (2008). Surface Ozone Measured at GLOBE Schools in the Czech Republic: A Demonstration of the Importance of Student Contribution to the Larger Science Picture. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 89(4), 505–514.
  10. Ow, F.P., Henderson, B.L., & Zink, J.I.  (2007). Multiple Photochemical Reaction Pathways in a Ni(II) Coordination Compound.  Inorganic Chemistry, 46(6), 2243-2248.