Komen Scholar Dr. Welch is using Komen funding to understand the genes that control the spread of breast cancer cells to other parts of the body (a process called metastasis). His work aims to shed light on not only why metastasis happens, but also why some people develop metastases, while others do not (even with the same risk factors). By understanding how metastasis happens, new treatments for metastatic breast cancer can be developed. Recently, his lab started to study genetic differences that might explain the racial disparities observed in breast cancer development.
Dr. Welch is considered one of the leading experts in the field of metastasis. He and his lab discovered the first breast cancer metastasis suppressor gene, BRMS1. Over 20 years, they’ve discovered 8 of the roughly 30 known metastasis suppressor genes. Dr. Welch will use Komen funding to study how these metastasis suppressors work.
Having watched too many people suffer from cancer metastasis, including his mother and several dear friends, Dr. Welch is determined to use his talents and time to make an impact. For more than 20 years, he has collaborated with patient advocates, like the Komen Advocates in Science, to ensure his work is focused on those topics and issues that will make the biggest difference in the lives of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer. Dr. Welch also believes that his responsibilities don’t end in the lab, regularly participating in the Greater Kansas City Race for the Cure, speaking at Affiliate events and lending his expertise to Komen’s public policy efforts.
Dr. Welch's Lab: http://www.kumc.edu/school-of-medicine/cancer-biology/faculty/danny-r-welch-phd.html
- One of the metastasis suppressors he discovered is named KISS1, because it was discovered in Hershey, Pa. where Dr. Welch was working at the time.
- In addition to a great mind, Dr. Welch also has a great eye for photography.
- Dr. Welch has a goal to visit all 50 states. To date, he’s been to 49 – only Montana left!
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