Steven Bensinger, D.V.M., Ph.D.

  • Professor, Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics
  • Professor, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
  • Director, UCLA Lipidomics Laboratory
Research Areas
UCLA researcher Steven Bensinger headshot

For over a decade, Steven J. Bensinger, D.V.M., Ph.D., has studied lipid metabolism — how the body uses fats and oils for energy storage and other essential molecular functions — and its influence on inflammation and immunity.

Bensinger studies how lipids control cell differentiation and function in normal and disease states. Lipids are essential components of all cells and are used to build cellular membranes, send biochemical signals and provide energy. 

Bensinger uses advanced analytical platforms and molecular and genetic approaches to gain a deep, mechanistic understanding of the interplay between lipid metabolism and cellular fate and function. Bensinger has made seminal contributions toward understanding how lipids impact normal health and how disruption of lipid metabolism influences cancer cell biology and tumor pathogenesis.

  • Applying mass spectrometry and mathematical modeling to understand how the lipidome of cells is programmed
  • Determining how lipid metabolism is shaped by inflammation and infection
  • Investigating whether augmenting specific lipid metabolic pathways protects tissues in flesh-eating bacterial infections, such as those caused by group A streptococcus and staphylococcus aureus — commonly referred to as strep and staph, respectively 
  • Defining the lipid metabolic state of brain cancers and determining if targeting lipid metabolic pathways sensitizes tumors to therapy

Post-doctoral fellowships

  • Lipid Metabolism, UCLA, 2008
  • Immunology, La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, 2005


  • Ph.D., Immunology, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, 2003
  • D.V.M., University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical School, 1998