Steven Bensinger, VMD, Ph.D.
Positions & Affiliations:
Professor, Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, Sherie and Donald Morrison Endowed Chair in Immunology
The Bensinger laboratory is defining how lipid metabolism influences the ability of immune cells to function correctly. Using state-of-the-art technologies, we have discovered that immune cells rapidly and profoundly reshape their lipid metabolic programs when they recognize foreign invaders. These changes to the lipid architecture of cells are essential for ensuring that invading microbes and viruses can be neutralized and rapidly cleared from the body. In other instances, we find that changes to the lipid composition of immune cells are necessary to turn off the immune response and avoid unwanted inflammation. We are leveraging knowledge gained from these studies to determine if reprogramming the lipid metabolism of immune cells can help boost immunity for fighting cancer or infections. We are also exploring whether metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, interfere with immune cells’ ability to reprogram their metabolism during infections, helping to explain why individuals with metabolic disorders are more susceptible to infections.
Veterinary Medical Degree (V.M.D.) and Ph.D. in Immunology, University of Pennsylvania