Thomas H. Welsh, Jr., PhD
Professor and Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty
Physiology of Reproduction Section Leader
Department of Animal Science
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Dr. Welsh’s endocrine physiology program focuses on how stress affects metabolism, growth, reproduction, and immunity by working at the population, whole animal, cellular or molecular levels to improve both animal and human health. Through interdisciplinary teamwork, students with Dr. Welsh and his colleagues have studied:
- the effect of social and early-life stress on virally mediated neurodegenerative disease;
- endocrine and immune factors that affect survival of septic neonates;
- the role of stress hormones and temperament in regulation of innate and adaptive immunity; and,
- potential epigenetic and metabolomic effects of prenatal stressors upon postnatal neuroendocrine and immune functions.
Dr. Welsh earned his BS in Animal Science (1974) and PhD in Physiology & Biochemistry (1980), under the mentorship of Dr. Bryan Johnson at North Carolina State University. Following service as an NIH and Giannini Medical Foundation funded Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Reproductive Medicine at the University of California-San Diego in Dr. Aaron Hsueh’s laboratory, he became an Assistant Professor of Physiology of Reproduction in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University in 1983. He was granted tenure in 1988, promoted to Professor in 1996 and Section Leader in 2009, and designated as a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow in 2012. Dr. Welsh coordinates an interdisciplinary team of Texas A&M University System researchers as part of the TAMU One Health Grand Challenge Initiative. The team’s research focus is to determine genetic and environmental factors, including stress, that disrupt metabolic health in humans and animals, which may lead to lost productivity or chronic disease conditions.