Legal Name
DepartmentDepartment of Biological Sciences
Biola AffiliationsFaculty
Office LocationLim Center 117



  • Postdoctoral Scholar, The University of Pennsylvania
  • Ph.D., Human Nutrition, Cornell University
  • B.S., Biotechnology, Elizabethtown College


Behzad Varamini grew up in frigid Wisconsin before moving to the east coast, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology from Elizabethtown College. After an eye-opening internship at the National Cancer Institute, where he studied nutrition and colon cancer, he became interested in how nutrients regulate genes and modulate disease.

As a result, he pursued further study at Cornell University, focusing on omega-3 fatty acids and the brain. Varamini earned his Ph.D. from Cornell in Nutritional Science with minors in Biochemistry and Food Science. After graduate school, he pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Pennsylvania as an IRACDA PennPORT fellow, a unique NIH-sponsored training program focused on preparing excellent research and teaching faculty. Varamini’s postdoctoral work focused on studying the foundational molecular signaling mechanisms that lead to aging, and how modifying a family of genes called Sirtuins can potentially slow the aging process and provide health benefits. While in the laboratory, Varamini took classes on teaching and curriculum development and served as an adjunct faculty at several nearby universities and colleges. This experience cemented his passion for combining a vibrant research program with exceptional teaching.

At Biola University, Varamini incorporates current clinical case studies and cutting-edge research into his physiology, biochemistry, and nutrition courses, while also working closely with a small group of students in his laboratory. His research at Biola University is focused on the effects of diet on aging, molecular markers of the brain, and sleep/activity levels in Drosophila melanogaster. He is passionate about challenging and mentoring students to reach their truest and highest potential, and the aim of all his work in and out of the classroom is the long-term success of his students. Varamini lives in Los Angeles with his wife, and remains surprised at the lack of seasons and abundance of traffic in Southern California.

Publications (Selected)

  • Toth P, Tarantini S, Davila A, Valcarcel-Ares MN, Tucsek Z, Varamini B, Ballabh P, Sonntag WE, Baur JA, Csiszar A, Ungvari Z.Purinergic glio-endothelial coupling during neuronal activity: role of P2Y1 receptors and eNOS in functional hyperemia in the mouse somatosensory cortex. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2015 Dec 1;309(11):H1837-45.
  • Varamini B, Sikalidis AK, Bradford KL. Resveratrol increases cerebral glycogen synthase kinase phosphorylation as well as protein levels of drebrin and transthyretin in mice: an exploratory study. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2014 Feb;65(1):89-96.
  • Agarwal B, Campen MJ, Channell MM, Wherry SJ, Varamini B, Davis JG, Baur JA, Smoliga JM. Resveratrol for primary prevention of atherosclerosis: clinical trial evidence for improved gene expression in vascular endothelium. Int J Cardiol. 2013 Jun 5;166(1):246-8.
  • Ye L, Varamini B, Lamming DW, Sabatini DM, Baur JA. Rapamycin has a biphasic effect on insulin sensitivity in C2C12 myotubes due to sequential disruption of mTORC1 and mTORC2. Front Genet. 2012 Sep 11;3:177.
  • Varamini B, and Baur, JA. The polyphenol resveratrol alters global patterns of gene regulation and improves physiology through multiple potential pathways, Book chapter in: Nutritional Genomics. Wayne Bidlack ed., Taylor and Francis, 123-133, 2010.
  • Price NP, Gomes AP, Ling AJ, Montalvo AM, North BJ, Hubbard BP, Agarwal B, Davis JG, Varamini B, Hafner A, Moaddel R, Rolo AP, Palmeira CM, deCabo R, Baur JA, Sinclaur DA. SIRT1 is required for AMPK activation and the beneficial effects of resveratrol on mitochondrial function. Cell Metab. 2012 May 2;15(5):675-90.
  • Sikalidis AK, Varamini B. Roles of hormones and signaling molecules in describing the relationship between obesity and colon cancer. Pathol Oncol Res. 2011 Jan 9.
  • Strable MS, Tschanz C, Varamini B, Brenna JT. Mammalian DNA (15) N exhibits intramolecular variation and is unresponsive to dietary protein level. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2011 Dec 15;25(23):3555-62.
  • Brenna JT, Varamini B, Jensen RG, et al. Docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acid concentrations in human breast milk worldwide. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1457-64.


  • Varamini B, Tresser J, Braden L, Corban S, Joel H, Ketema L. Dietary Restriction alters sleep and activity levels in 14 day-old Drosophila melanogaster. Poster presentation at Genetics Society of America 2017.
  • Varamini B. Intensive use of primary literature in science courses can enhance critical thinking, student interest and content integration. Poster presentation at Experimental Biology 2014.
  • Varamini B, Sikalidis A, Bradford KL, Brenna JT. Dietary resveratrol induces neuroprotective changes in several protein targets but does not affect plaque burden in Alzheimer's Disease transgenic mice. Abstract presented at Experimental Biology 2009, New Orleans LA.
  • Varamini B, Strable MS, Tschanz C, Brenna JT. Neuronal DNA does not turn over during guinea pig life span. Abstract presented at Experimental Biology 2007, Washington, D.C.
  • Varamini B. Dietary Restriction increases and consolidates sleep in Drosophila Melanogaster. Poster presentation at Experimental Biology 2016.

Research Interests

  • Nutrient-Sensing and Nutrient-Responsive Gene Expression in Drosophila
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Sleep and Longevity


  • Biochemistry II
  • Physiology
  • Directed Research: Gene Expression
  • Endocrinology
  • Human Nutrition
  • Nutrition, Health, and Society
  • Nutrition Problems in Developing Nations
  • The Microbiome
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