David K. Welsh, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Welsh Laboratory Website
Phone: (858) 246-0894
Dr. Welsh earned his undergraduate
degree at Stanford University, where he began a
long-standing interest in circadian rhythms and sleep. In
graduate work at Harvard Medical School, he discovered that
individual mammalian cells can generate circadian rhythms.
He received a Ph.D. in Neurobiology and an M.D. from Harvard
in 1997, then completed a residency in general psychiatry at
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, in Pittsburgh.
After two years as a postdoctoral research fellow, he joined
the faculty of the UCSD Department of Psychiatry in 2003. He
is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department, and a
Staff Psychiatrist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.
In mammals, a hierarchical system of
circadian clock cells in the brain and throughout the body
orchestrates daily patterns of physiology and behavior.
These daily patterns persist under constant conditions as
"circadian rhythms". Dr. Welsh studies circadian rhythms in
single cells using bioluminescence imaging to monitor clock
gene expression. He is interested in the autonomy,
heterogeneity, and coupling of cellular circadian clocks,
particularly the "master" clock cells of the brain, the
neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus. He is also
interested in how defects in these mechanisms may contribute
to sleep and circadian rhythm disorders in humans.
Dr. Welsh is a Staff Psychiatrist at
the VA San Diego Healthcare System. He practices general
adult psychiatry in the mood disorders clinic.
Welsh DK, Yoo SH, Liu AC, Takahashi
JS, Kay SA. Bioluminescence imaging of individual
fibroblasts reveals persistent, independently phased
circadian rhythms of clock gene expression. Curr Biol
Sato TK, Yamada RG, Ukai H, Baggs JE,
Miraglia LJ, Kobayashi TJ, Welsh DK, Kay SA, Ueda HR,
Hogenesch JB. Feedback repression is required for mammalian
circadian clock function. Nat Genet 38:312-319, 2006.
Liu AC, Welsh DK, Ko CH, Tran HG,
Zhang EE, Priest AA, Buhr ED, Singer O, Meeker K, Verma IM,
Doyle FJ III, Takahashi JS, Kay SA. Intercellular coupling
confers robustness against mutations in the SCN circadian
clock network. Cell 129:605-616, 2007.
Forger D, Gonze D, Virshup D, Welsh DK. Beyond intuitive
modeling: combining biophysical models with innovative
experiments to move the circadian clock field forward. J
Biol Rhythms 22:200-210, 2007.
Pulivarthy SR, Tanaka N, Welsh DK, De
Haro L, Verma IM, Panda S. Reciprocity between phase shifts
and amplitude changes in the mammalian circadian clock.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:20356-20361, 2007.
Yan L, Karatsoreos I, LeSauter J, Welsh DK, Kay S, Foley D,
Silver R. Exploring spatiotemporal organization of SCN
circuits. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol