Director, Stewart Science Honors Program
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences
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.