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2011 Sontag Award Recipient

"The Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award was instrumental to my success as a scientist. The Sontag Foundation recognized my potential very early in my career, at a time when our science was in a fledgling state, and I was an unproven independent scientist. Their investment supported my laboratory to develop novel scientific methodologies that have become a mainstay of our research. I am grateful for their continued engagement as it pushes us to produce cutting-edge science."

About DSA-Funded Research

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. They 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, they continue to seek out how to target key aspects of lipid metabolism to decrease tumor growth and alter immune cell function.

Current Appointment(s)
  • Professor, Microbiology, Immunology, Molecular Genetics
  • Professor, Molecular & Medical Pharmacology
  • Member, Inflammation, Immunity, Infection, & Transplantation Theme (I3T)
  • Rice University, Houston, B.A., Political Science
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, V.M.D.
  • University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Ph.D., Immunology
  • La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, San Diego, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Immunology/Apoptosis
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Lipid metabolism