The Bensinger Laboratory is in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Congratulations to Kelly Kennewick for winning the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Gilliam Fellowship for Advanced Studies. Follow the link here.
The Bensinger laboratory is focused on defining how lipid metabolism influences the ability of immune cells to function properly. Using state-of-the-art mass spectrometry and molecular biology approaches, we have discovered that immune cells rapidly and profoundly reshape their lipid metabolic programs when they recognize that foreign invaders. These changes to the lipid architecture of cells are essential for ensuring that invading microorganisms and viruses can be isolated and rapidly cleared from the body. In other instances, we are finding that changes to the lipid composition of immune cells is necessary to turn of the immune response and avoid unwanted inflammation. These findings have led us to ask if manipulating the lipid metabolic machinery of immune cells can help (i) boost immunity when required, such as in cancer immunotherapy, or (ii) shutdown the immune system in autoimmune diseases, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.