JoEllen Welsh

JoEllen Welsh, PhD

Preeminent researcher on the role of Vitamin D in breast cancer.

The World Within Reach
JoEllen Welsh, PhD
Empire Innovation Professor

School of Public Health
Biomedical Sciences
Department: Environmental Health Sciences

Cancer Research Center
Personal Pages:



Ph.D., Cornell University
Postdoctoral, University of Ottawa, Biochemistry-Nutrition

Additional Information

Courses Frequently Taught:

BMS 665 Cancer Biology Journal Club (10-15 students, Fall, 1 credit) – Coordinator. This seminar style class focuses on the molecular and cellular biology of cancer through review of current literature. This is a graduate level course, and basic knowledge of cancer biology (etiology, pathology,terminology, research models, techniques, etc) is assumed. The basic class format is the presentation and discussion of original research papers. Students are responsible for at least one assigned presentation during the semester and are expected to read all assigned papers prior to class each week. Class participation is mandatory.

BMS 622/EHS630 Cancer Biology (15-20 students, Spring, 3 credits) – Coordinator. This lecture course presents an overview of the cancer development process at the cellular and molecular level, including regulatory networks involved in growth control and tissue organization and an introduction to animal, cell and molecular techniques for studying progression, treatment and prevention of cancer.


  • Zinser GM, Suckow M and Welsh JE (2005) VDR ablation alters carcinogen induced tumorigenesis in mammary gland, epidermis and lymphoid tissues. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 97:153-164
  • Kemmis C, Salvador S, Smith K and Welsh JE (2006) Human mammary cells express CYP27B1 and are growth inhibited by 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. J. Nutrition, 136:887-92
  • Rowling MR, Kemmis CM, Taffany DA and Welsh JE (2006) Megalin mediated endocytosis of vitamin D binding protein correlates with 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 actions in mammary cells. J Nutrition, 136:2754-2759
  • Shah S, Islam M, Rizvi I, Zinser G, Valrance M, Aranda A, Moras D, Norman A, Welsh JE, Byers SW (2006) The Molecular Basis of Vitamin D Receptor and β-Catenin Cross Regulation. Molecular Cell, 21:799-809
  • Byrne B and Welsh JE (2007) Identification of novel mediators of vitamin D signaling and 1,25(OH)2D3 resistance in mammary cells. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 103:703-707
  • Valrance ME, Brunet AH and Welsh JE (2007) VDR Dependent Inhibition of Mammary Tumor Growth by EB1089 and UV Radiation in vivo. Endocrinology, 148:4887-4894.
  • Kemmis CM and Welsh JE (2008) Mammary epithelial cell transformation is associated with deregulation of the vitamin D pathway. J Cell Biochem, 105:980-988
  • Narvaez CJ, Matthews D, Broun E, Chan M, and Welsh JE (2009) Lean phenotype and resistance to diet-induced obesity in VDR knockout mice correlates with UCP-1 induction in white adipose tissue. Endocrinology, 150:651-661
  • Mordan-McCombs S, Brown T, Wang WL, Gaupel AC, Welsh JE, Tenniswood M (2010) Tumor progression in the LPB-Tag transgenic model of prostate cancer is altered by vitamin D receptor and serum testosterone status. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol, 121:368-367
  • Welsh JE, Zinser LN, Mianecki-Morton L, Martin J, Waltz SE, James H and Zinser GM (2011) Age-related changes in the epithelial and stromal compartments of the mammary gland in normocalcemic mice lacking the vitamin D3 receptor. PLoS One, 26:e16479
  • Wang W, Chatterjee N, Chittur SV, Welsh JE and Tenniswood M (2011) Effects of 1alpha,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 and testosterone on miRNA and mRNA expression in LNCaP cells. Molecular Cancer, 10:58
  • Teichert,A, Elalieh H, Elias P, Welsh JE and Bikle DD (2011) Over-expression of hedgehog signaling is associated with epidermal tumor formation in vitamin D receptor null mice. J Invest Dermatology, 131:2289-2297
  • Milani C, Katayama M, Carneiro de Lyra J, Welsh JE, Campos L, Brentani M, Maciel M, Roela R, del Valle PR, Góes J, Folgueira M (2013) Transcriptional effects of 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 physiological and supra-physiological concentrations in breast cancer organotypic culture. BMC Cancer, Mar 15;13(1):119.
  • Keith M, LaPorta E and Welsh JE. Stable expression of human VDR in murine VDR-null cells recapitulates vitamin D mediated anti-cancer signaling. Molecular Carcinogenesis, in press.
  • Narvaez CJ, Simmons KM, Brunton J, Salinero A, Chittur SV and Welsh JE. STEAP4 induction correlates with 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 stimulation of adipogenesis in mesenchymal cells derived from human adipose tissue. J Cellular Physiology, in press