Research in the Welc Lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that determine muscle homeostasis, regeneration, and remodeling. The focus of our investigations is on the regulatory interactions of myogenic and non-myogenic cells that determine skeletal and cardiac muscle health. We have a specific interest in the central role that the immune system plays in regulating muscle pathophysiology. Although immune cell populations in muscle can be complex, they are dominated by macrophages, which are present in low concentrations in healthy tissue but can rapidly accumulate in response to injury or disease. These are motile cells capable of highly-specific targeting to areas of pathology and can secrete an array of soluble factors that act directly on muscle cells to promote regeneration and growth. Macrophages are required for normal muscle repair, but can be misapplied in disease to orchestrate devastating pathological interactions with fibrogenic cells facilitating muscle fibrosis. Toward this end, our laboratory is also interested in the pathological role of fibroblasts in the progression of muscle disease. A major goal of our lab is to identify the mechanisms that promote or dysregulate the reparative processes of muscle and then build on that knowledge to develop novel therapeutics with translational implications in conditions of aging, acute trauma, modified-use and disease.

Oncology, Human Anatomy, Cell Biology
PhD, University of Florida, 2012
BA, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 2008