The Bensinger Laboratory
The Bensinger Laboratory is in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. We apply cutting-edge techniques to understand how lipid metabolism influences cell fate and function.
Lipids are essential components of all cells and represent 20-30% of a cell’s biomass. Cells use lipids to build membranes, send biochemical signals, and as an energy source. Lipids ensure proper biophysical properties of cells through their ability to form complex membranes at the cellular surface, also known as the plasma membrane, and in specialized compartments, such as organelles, within a cell. Lipids are also important signaling molecules, sending critical information used by a cell to influence nearly every aspect of a cell’s development, growth, and function.
Besides these critical functions, lipids are an essential energy source for cells.Despite the evident importance of lipids in health and disease, our understanding of how lipids influence normal physiology and disease states still needs to be improved and revised. In the Bensinger lab, we use advanced analytical platforms combined with molecular and genetic approaches to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamic interplay between lipid metabolism and cellular fate and function.
Our goal is to understand the complicated nature of cellular and tissue lipid composition, and gain a deep understanding of the molecular crosstalk linking cellular lipid homeostasis with tissue function and whole-body physiology. We leverage the information learned in the lab to create new approaches for improving human health and treating diseases through lipid metabolism.
We invite you to explore the projects in the lab, discover the talented people driving our discoveries, and learn how we are tackling diseases by targeting lipid metabolism. Enjoy!