Empire Innovation Professor JoEllen Walsh Welcomed to the UAlbany Cancer Center

JoEllen Welsh, PhD was appointed as an Empire Innovations Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences in January 2008. Prior to joining GenNYsis, she was a Full Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame where she conducted research on nutrition and cancer prevention, taught undergraduate classes in Cancer Biology and mentored graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Dr. Welsh received her PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY where she studied interactions between dietary calcium and magnesium in relation to osteoporosis. After completing post-doctoral training in the area of obesity and brown fat metabolism, Dr. Welsh’s first academic appointment was in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada where she taught nutrition and metabolism and conducted research on vitamin D metabolism, signaling and growth control. In 1994, Dr. Welsh moved to the W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center in Lake Placid, NY as a Senior Scientist and focused her research efforts on vitamin D and breast cancer. During her ten years at Notre Dame, Dr. Welsh utilized transgenic and knockout mouse models to examine the role of the vitamin D receptor in normal mammary gland development and breast cancer prevention. Dr. Welsh is an active participant in the vitamin D research community and has served on the Program Committee for the International Vitamin D Workshops since 2000. She is currently a charter member of the NIH Chemo and Dietary Prevention study section and also sits on grant panels for the American Institute for Cancer Research, the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program and the DOD Prostate Cancer Research Program. Since 2005, Dr. Welsh has served on the External Advisory Committee for the Marie Curie Research Training Network Grant, Systems Biology Approach to Nutrigenomics, a consortium based in Europe. The research in Dr. Welsh’s lab has been externally funded by the Medical Research Council of Canada, the National Cancer Institute, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the USDA CREES program, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the US Army Breast Cancer Research Program. In 2005, Dr. Welsh received the Brown University Research Achievement Award for her studies on Vitamin D and Cancer. She has also been recognized as an American Institute for Cancer Research “Scientist in the Spotlight” (2003) and received a University of Notre Dame Kaneb Award for Excellence in Teaching (2005). At GenNYsis, Dr. Welsh plans to continue using cellular, molecular, genomic approaches in conjunction with animal models to study the role of nutritional factors in cancer development and progression.