Steven Bensinger, VMD, Ph.D.

Mailing Address:
Box 951735
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Office Address:
615 Charles E. Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Director, Immunity, Inflammation, Infection, & Transplantation (I3T) Research Initiative
Professor, Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Genetics, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology
Member, Cell & Developmental Biology GPB Home Area, I3T Theme, Immunity, Microbes & Molecular Pathogenesis GPB Home Area, JCCC Signal Transduction and Therapeutics Program Area, Molecular Pharmacology GPB Home Area
Research Interests
The Bensinger laboratory is focused on understanding how lipid metabolism influences the growth, survival and function of rapidly dividing normal and neoplastic cells. His laboratory recently revealed a lipid metabolic checkpoint that regulates cell cycle progression, cellular growth and viability in lymphocytes. Key ongoing studies include elucidating the signal transduction and regulatory networks that link growth receptor signaling to lipid anabolic programs in the adaptive immune system. We are also interested in understanding how lipid signals influence adaptive immune responses and self-tolerance. Current studies in the laboratory have found that dysregulation of lipid metabolism intrinsically influences adaptive immune cell function and autoimmune pathogenesis. Other important studies in the laboratory are focused on determining if lipid metabolic programs contribute to carcinogenesis, tumor growth and pathogenesis. Finally, we continue to seek out how to target key aspects of lipid metabolism to decrease tumor growth and alter immune cell function.

Dr. Bensinger is the Sherie and Donald Morrison Chair in Immunology at UCLA. He is a Professor of two departments: Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics; and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology. He received his B.A. from Rice University, his Veterinary Medical Degree (V.M.D.) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Bensinger’s thesis work was focused on the development and function of CD4 regulatory T cells. He subsequently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with Dr. Peter Tontonoz, where he examined the impact of cholesterol metabolism on lymphocyte function and adaptive immunity. Dr. Bensinger established his own laboratory at UCLA in 2008. His laboratory uses state of the art technology to understand how metabolism influences the immune system in health and disease. Dr. Bensinger is a thought leader in the field of immunometabolism and lipid biology.  He has previously served as Director of Shared Resources at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Director of the Inflammation, Immunology, Infection, and Transplant research theme at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Bensinger currently also serves as Director of the UCLA Lipidomics Laboratory.

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