Gen*NY*Sis Center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics

University at Albany, State University of New York

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Curriculum Vitae


Gen*NY*sis Faculty

Biomedical Sciences



Carmen J Narvaez, PhD Rutgers University.   Senior Research Associate. “Judy” Narvaez originally joined the Welsh lab as a post-doctoral fellow to study mechanisms of vitamin D mediated apoptosis in breast cancer cells.  She has pursued multiple projects since that time, including characterization of vitamin D resistant cell lines, examination of interactions between breast cancer cells and bone,  and analysis of VDR phosphorylation.   As Senior Research Associate, Judy continues to be an essential resource for undergraduate and graduate students in the Welsh lab.  Her expertise in all aspects of cell biology, including flow cytometry, western blotting, ELISA analyses and mammalian cell culture, is legendary.  Judy’s current project focuses on the role of the VDR in mesenchymal stem cell differentiation, with an emphasis on adipogenesis and osteoblastogenesis.  This project relies on the use of genetic mouse models of vitamin D deficiency (VDRKO and CYP27B1 KO).

Meggan Keith, PhD, University of Notre Dame. Post-Doctoral Fellow.  Meggan conducted her dissertation research in the Welsh lab on the molecular functions of VDR and received her PhD degree  in 2007. She is currently working on a joint project between Drs. Welsh, Tenniswood and Conklin to develop novel mammary epithelial cell models to study the impact of genomic alterations in cancer, including her2,  BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.

Don Matthews, MSc, Lakehead University.  PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences. Don came to the Welsh lab from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, where he completed a Masters degree in Biology in 2005. His thesis focused on  the effect of the chemotherapeutic agent Flavopiridol on cell cycle regulator cdk2 activity. Don’s current project involves the use of mammary gland organ culture and genetically engineered mouse models to identify genomic profiles downstream of VDR signaling.

Erika LaPorta, BSc, College of St. Rose;  MSc, University at Albany Department of Biomedical Sciences.  PhD Student, Biomedical Sciences.  Erika completed her MSc degree in Dr. Derek Symula’s lab, where she worked on lung development in mouse models.  She joined the Welsh lab in the summer of 2008 to study molecular functions of VDR in breast cancer cell models.

Lei Li, BS, MS, School of Pharmacy, Fudan University, China.  Graduate Student, Environmental Health Sciences.  Lei is a first year graduate student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. She completed her MSc thesis on the mechanism of action of a natural anti-arrhythmia drug.  Lei is currently examining the expression and activity of xenobiotic enzymes in mammary cells.

Cintia Milani, BS, MSc Experimental Oncology, University of Sao Paolo, Brazil.  Cintia is a visiting graduate student  from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In a collaborative project, Cintia is identifying and validating vitamin D regulated genes in human breast cancer tissue.

Romae Palmer, Undergraduate Student, University at Albany. Romae completed the 2008 University at Albany Summer Research Program in the Welsh lab where she assisted with the characterization of our newly created mammary-specific VDR knockout mouse. This semester she is employed in the lab as a work-study student and is also registered for Undergraduate Research credit (Bio399).  Romae is currently assisting with genotyping of our mouse colonies.

Last updated on 02/18/2009


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