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Itay Budin

Dr. Budin received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University in 2012, for which he received the Harold M. Weintraub graduate award.  He was subsequently a Miller Junior Fellow and Assistant Project Scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, where he built an independent research program at the Joint Bioenergy Institute. Dr. Budin investigates the biochemistry of lipid molecules in cell membranes. His goal is to understand the molecular functions and physical principles that underlie the evolution of lipid diversity across biology. At Berkeley, Dr. Budin pioneered the use of synthetic biology approaches to engineer the lipid composition of cells. For this work, he was awarded the Herb Tabor Young Investigator award by the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2017. Dr. Budin is a passionate teacher and educator, and has participated in several classroom and outreach initiatives during his training at Berkeley and Harvard. At UC San Diego, he will continue these efforts, with a focus on developing lipid biochemistry courses that integrate concepts from the physical and biological sciences. He also plans to expand his outreach projects, emphasizing the mentorship of LGBTQ students and those from nontraditional educational backgrounds.