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William James Welsh

William James Welsh William James Welsh
Department of Pharmacology
Rutgers University
Read Interview session with William James Welsh

Dr. William J. (Bill) Welsh holds the Norman H. Edelman Endowed Professorship in Bioinformatics in the Department of Pharmacology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS), Rutgers University in Piscataway NJ. Concurrently, he serves as Director of the EPA-supported Environmental Bioinformatics and Computational Toxicology Center. He is a member of various centers and institutes of excellence at Rutgers University, including the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials, the College of Pharmacy, and the Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI). Dr. Welsh’s laboratory specializes in the development and application of computational tools for new-molecule discovery, virtual database screening, and pattern recognition. His publication record includes over 350 articles in peer-reviewed books and journals, 100 abstracts for presentations at professional scientific meetings, and numerous patents and patent applications. He is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Teacher of the Year Award (1983 and 1985), the St. Louis Research Award (1998), the University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor’s Research and Creativity Award (2001), the University of Missouri Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2001), and the Norman H. Edelman Endowed Professorship in Bioinformatics at UMDNJ-RWJMS (2003). He frequently serves in consultancy roles and expert reviewer for scientific societies and journals, federal agencies (NIH, DoD, FDA, EPA), and private industry. Spanning the last twenty-five years, over 300 students (postgraduate and graduate students, undergraduates, and research associates) have trained in his laboratory. In October 2007, Dr. Welsh founded Snowdon, Inc., ( a biopharmaceutical company that specializes in pharmaceutical drug discovery and contract R&D.

Research Interest

Research Activities in the Welsh Lab of Possible Interest to FBI-CFSRU* Develop and deploy computational tools for trace organic chemical analysis, toxicology, fingerprints, drug and materials analysis, database screening, and forensics. 1. Assemble, integrate, and implement chemometric tools to identify, quantify, and discriminate complex molecular entities and formulations, based solely on analysis of their spectroscopy and/or chromatographic profiles. A recent example is the FDA-supported project that successfully developed a suite of chemometric tools to identify and quantify the content of natural impurities (e.g., dermatan sulfate, or DS) and contaminants (e.g., OSCS) in heparin samples obtained from various manufacturers. 2. Construct and employ Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) models and related computational techniques to predict indicators of toxicologically-relevant endpoints, including cardiotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, and neurotoxicity. 3. Development and application of the novel Shape Signatures tool for rapid virtual screening of vast chemical databases by matching molecules on the basis of molecular shape, size, and surface charge distribution. 4. Rational (computer-aided) design of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of infectious diseases, caused by common hospital-acquired pathogens (e.g., MRSA) and biowarfare pathogens (e.g., anthrax, plague).


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