Photo of Dr. David Welsh

 

 

David K. Welsh, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
E-mail: welshdk@ucsd.edu 
Welsh Laboratory Website
Phone: (858) 246-0894
 

Biography
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 brain 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 Associate Professor in the Department, and a Staff Psychiatrist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

 
Research Focus
In mammals, circadian (ca. 24h) clocks in the brain and throughout the body orchestrate 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, including mood disorders.

Clinical Focus
Dr. Welsh is a Staff Psychiatrist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, where he practices general adult psychiatry.

 
Selected Publications

Welsh DK, Logothetis DE, Meister M, Reppert SM. Individual neurons dissociated from rat suprachiasmatic nucleus express independently phased circadian firing rhythms. Neuron 14:697-706, 1995.

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 14:2289-2295, 2004.

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.

Welsh DK, Takahashi JS, Kay SA. Suprachiasmatic nucleus: cell autonomy and network properties. Annu Rev Physiol 72:551-77, 2010.

Leise TL, Wang CW, Gitis PJ, Welsh DK. Persistent cell-autonomous circadian oscillations in fibroblasts revealed by six-week single-cell imaging of PER2::LUC bioluminescence. PLoS One 7:e33334, 2012.

McCarthy MJ, Welsh DK. Cellular circadian clocks in mood disorders. J Biol Rhythms 27:339-52, 2012.

Noguchi T, Wang LL, Welsh DK. Fibroblast PER2 circadian rhythmicity depends on cell density. J Biol Rhythms 28:183-92, 2013.

McCarthy MJ, Wei H, Marnoy Z, Darvish R, McPhie D, Cohen B, Welsh DK. Genetic and clinical factors predict lithium's effects on PER2 gene expression rhythms in cells from bipolar disorder patients. Transl Psychiatry 3:e318, 2013.

 

University of California, San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, 9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code 0603 La Jolla, CA 92037-0603
Telephone: (858) 534-3684, Fax: (858) 534-7653, Electronic Mail: psychiatry@ucsd.edu