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Timothy Welsh selected as Churchill scholar

Submitted by Mary Harty on February 16, 2018 - 3:07pm
Tim Welsh

Congratulations to senior Timothy Welsh who has been selected as a Churchill Scholar!  Tim is one of only 15 US scholars selected for the prestigious Churchill scholarship. Selection is based on proven talent in research and ability to make significant contributions in the sciences, engineering or mathematics. The scholarship covers full tuition for one year of master’s study at Churchill College in the University of Cambridge; a stipend; travel costs; and a chance to apply for a $2,000 special research grant.

Welsh first worked in a lab as a high school student during a summer internship at the Oregon Health & Sciences University, and has been researching ever since, working in labs from the UW to Switzerland. In 2017, Welsh published a first-author paper, sharing the results of his summertime work in Dr. Walter Loveland’s nuclear chemistry lab at Oregon State University. Currently a member of Professor Stephen Stoll’s lab, Welsh’s research now focuses on developing techniques to determine the structure and changing shapes of proteins.

As a Churchill scholar, Welsh will complete a master’s degree in chemistry at Cambridge. There, Welsh will join the lab of Professor Tuomas Knowles — a leader in the field of microfluidic techniques within biophysics — to study properties of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granule formation and propagation. Building on his past research experiences, Welsh plans to use microfluidic techniques to better understand how granules function within the cell, both when healthy and when mutated. The long-term goal of this research is to better understand how these mutations are related to neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS and Huntington’s.

After earning his master’s at Cambridge, he plans to return to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. with an emphasis in chemical biology. He hopes to one day educate the public about the importance of the microscopic biochemical world and act as a liaison between scientists and policy makers.