Bryan E. Welm, PhD

Research Interests

  • Breast Cancer
  • Mammary Glands, Animal
  • Mammary Glands, Human
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Animal
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Mammary Tumor Virus, Mouse


Lab Website


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Surgery - Associate Professor
  • Divisions: General Surgery
  • Cancer Center Programs: Cell Response & Regulation

Academic Office Information

  • 801-587-4633
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute
    2000 Circle of Hope, Room: HCI 3342
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Academic Bio

Bryan Welm, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Utah, an investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), and a member of the Cell Response and Regulation Program.

Welm investigates the link between breast stem cells and breast cancer. The breast is a highly regenerative organ that undergoes many growth and functional changes during pregnancies. This regenerative capacity has been attributed to a rare stem cell population that can give rise to the many different cell types of the mammary gland. Studies provide evidence that breast stem cells may be the cells that cause breast cancer.

It is poorly understood how the mechanisms that drive changes and growth of stem cells become dysregulated in breast cancer. Welm's main research interest is to understand the cause of breast cancer by identifying the cellular origins for cancer and the initial transforming events within those cells.

Welm joined HCI after completing postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Zena Werb, PhD, at the University of California, San Francisco.

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship University of California, San Francisco
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training Baylor College of Medicine
Cell and Molecular Biology
Undergraduate University of California, Santa Cruz
Undergraduate Diablo Valley College

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Vaden RM, Guillen KP, Salvant JM, Santiago CB, Gibbons JB, Pathi SS, Arunachalam S, Sigman MS, Looper RE, Welm BE (2018 Dec 20). A cancer-selective zinc ionophore inspired by the natural product naamidine A.LID - 10.1021/acschembio.8b00977 [doi]. (Epub ahead of print) ACS Chem Biol.
  2. Madsen MJ, Knight S, Sweeney C, Factor R, Salama M, Stijleman IJ, Rajamanickam V, Welm BE, Arunachalam S, Jones B, Rachamadugu R, Rowe K, Cessna MH, Thomas A, Kushi LH, Caan BJ, Bernard PS, Camp NJ (2018 Jun). Reparameterization of PAM50 Expression Identifies Novel Breast Tumor Dimensions and Leads to Discovery of a Genome-Wide Significant Breast Cancer Locus at 12q15. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 27(6), 644-652.
  3. Vahrenkamp JM, Yang CH, Rodriguez AC, Almomen A, Berrett KC, Trujillo AN, Guillen KP, Welm BE, Jarboe EA, Janat-Amsbury MM, Gertz J (2018 Mar 13). Clinical and Genomic Crosstalk between Glucocorticoid Receptor and Estrogen Receptor alpha In Endometrial Cancer. Cell Rep, 22(11), 2995-3005.
  4. Gibbons JB, Salvant JM, Vaden RM, Kwon KH, Welm BE, Looper RE (2015 Oct 16). Synthesis of Naamidine A and Selective Access to N(2)-Acyl-2-aminoimidazole Analogues. J Org Chem, 80(20), 10076-85.
  5. Drobysheva D, Smith BA, McDowell M, Guillen KP, Ekiz HA, Welm BE (2015 Oct 1). Transformation of enriched mammary cell populations with polyomavirus middle T antigen influences tumor subtype and metastatic potential. Breast Cancer Res, 17(1), 132.
  6. Basham KJ, Leonard CJ, Kieffer C, Shelton DN, McDowell ME, Bhonde VR, Looper RE, Welm BE (2015 Jan). Dioxin exposure blocks lactation through a direct effect on mammary epithelial cells mediated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor. Toxicol Sci, 143(1), 36-45.
  7. Vaden RM, Gligorich KM, Jana R, Sigman MS, Welm BE (2014 Nov 26). The small molecule C-6 is selectively cytotoxic against breast cancer cells and its biological action is characterized by mitochondrial defects and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Breast Cancer Res, 16(6), 472.
  8. Basham KJ, Bhonde VR, Kieffer C, Mack JB, Hess M, Welm BE, Looper RE (2014 Jun 1). Bis-aryloxadiazoles as effective activators of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Bioorg Med Chem Lett, 24(11), 2473-6.
  9. DeRose YS, Gligorich KM, Wang G, Georgelas A, Bowman P, Courdy SJ, Welm AL, Welm BE (2013 Mar). Patient-derived models of human breast cancer: protocols for in vitro and in vivo applications in tumor biology and translational medicine. Curr Protoc Pharmacol, Chapter 14, Unit14.23.
  10. Basham KJ, Kieffer C, Shelton DN, Leonard CJ, Bhonde VR, Vankayalapati H, Milash B, Bearss DJ, Looper RE, Welm BE (2013 Jan 25). Chemical genetic screen reveals a role for desmosomal adhesion in mammary branching morphogenesis. J Biol Chem, 288(4), 2261-70.
  11. Gligorich KM, Vaden RM, Shelton DN, Wang G, Matsen CB, Looper RE, Sigman MS, Welm BE (2013). Development of a screen to identify selective small molecules active against patient-derived metastatic and chemoresistant breast cancer cells. Breast Cancer Res, 15(4), R58.
  12. Lum DH, Matsen C, Welm AL, Welm BE (2012 Dec). Overview of human primary tumorgraft models: comparisons with traditional oncology preclinical models and the clinical relevance and utility of primary tumorgrafts in basic and translational oncology research. Curr Protoc Pharmacol, Chapter 14, Unit 14.22.
  13. Gibbons JB, Gligorich KM, Welm BE, Looper RE (2012 Sep 21). Synthesis of the reported structures for kealiinines B and C. Org Lett, 14(18), 4734-7.
  14. Smith BA, Shelton DN, Kieffer C, Milash B, Usary J, Perou CM, Bernard PS, Welm BE (2012 Sep). Targeting the PyMT Oncogene to Diverse Mammary Cell Populations Enhances Tumor Heterogeneity and Generates Rare Breast Cancer Subtypes. Genes Cancer, 3(9-10), 550-63.
  15. Pathak TP, Osiak JG, Vaden RM, Welm BE, Sigman MS (2012 Jul 1). Synthesis and Preliminary Biological Study of Bisindolylmethanes Accessed by an Acid-Catalyzed Hydroarylation of Vinylindoles. Tetrahedron, 68(26), 5203-5208.
  16. Liu J, Welm B, Boucher KM, Ebbert MT, Bernard PS (2012 Feb). TRIM29 functions as a tumor suppressor in nontumorigenic breast cells and invasive ER+ breast cancer. Am J Pathol, 180(2), 839-47.
  17. Maddox J, Shakya A, South S, Shelton D, Andersen JN, Chidester S, Kang J, Gligorich KM, Jones DA, Spangrude GJ, Welm BE, Tantin D (2012). Transcription factor Oct1 is a somatic and cancer stem cell determinant. PLoS Genet, 8(11), e1003048.
  18. DeRose YS, Wang G, Lin YC, Bernard PS, Buys SS, Ebbert MT, Factor R, Matsen C, Milash BA, Nelson E, Neumayer L, Randall RL, Stijleman IJ, Welm BE, Welm AL (2011 Oct 23). Tumor grafts derived from women with breast cancer authentically reflect tumor pathology, growth, metastasis and disease outcomes. Nat Med, 17(11), 1514-20.
  19. Cohen AL, Soldi R, Zhang H, Gustafson AM, Wilcox R, Welm BE, Chang JT, Johnson E, Spira A, Jeffrey SS, Bild AH (2011 Jul 19). A pharmacogenomic method for individualized prediction of drug sensitivity. Mol Syst Biol, 7, 513.
  20. Pathak TP, Gligorich KM, Welm BE, Sigman MS (2010 Jun 16). Synthesis and preliminary biological studies of 3-substituted indoles accessed by a palladium-catalyzed enantioselective alkene difunctionalization reaction. J Am Chem Soc, 132(23), 7870-1.
  21. Pond AC, Herschkowitz JI, Schwertfeger KL, Welm B, Zhang Y, York B, Cardiff RD, Hilsenbeck S, Perou CM, Creighton CJ, Lloyd RE, Rosen JM (2010 Jun 15). Fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling dramatically accelerates tumorigenesis and enhances oncoprotein translation in the mouse mammary tumor virus-Wnt-1 mouse model of breast cancer. Cancer Res, 70(12), 4868-79.
  22. Shelton DN, Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Illa-Bochaca I, Ortiz-de-Solorzano C, Barcellos-Hoff MH, Welm BE (2010). Use of stem cell markers in dissociated mammary populations. Methods Mol Biol, 621, 49-55.
  23. Illa-Bochaca I, Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Shelton DN, Welm BE, Ortiz-de-Solorzano C, Barcellos-Hoff MH (2010). Limiting-dilution transplantation assays in mammary stem cell studies. Methods Mol Biol, 621, 29-47.
  24. Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Illa-Bochaca I, Shelton DN, Welm BE, Barcellos-Hoff MH, Ortiz-de-Solorzano C (2010). In situ analysis of cell populations: long-term label-retaining cells. Methods Mol Biol, 621, 1-28.
  25. Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Illa-Bochaca I, Welm BE, Fleisch MC, Werb Z, Ortiz-de-Solorzano C, Barcellos-Hoff MH (). Mapping mammary gland architecture using multi-scale in situ analysis. Integr Biol (Camb), 1(1), 80-89.
  26. Egeblad M, Ewald AJ, Askautrud HA, Truitt ML, Welm BE, Bainbridge E, Peeters G, Krummel MF, Werb Z (04/01/09). Visualizing stromal cell dynamics in different tumor microenvironments by spinning disk confocal microscopy. Dis. Models Mech, 1(2-3), 155-67.
  27. Welm BE, Dijkgraaf GJ, Bledau AS, Welm AL, Werb Z (2008 Jan 10). Lentiviral transduction of mammary stem cells for analysis of gene function during development and cancer. Cell Stem Cell, 2(1), 90-102.
  28. Welm AL, Kim S, Welm BE, Bishop JM (2005 Mar 22). MET and MYC cooperate in mammary tumorigenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 102(12), 4324-9.
  29. Li Y, Welm B, Podsypanina K, Huang S, Chamorro M, Zhang X, Rowlands T, Egeblad M, Cowin P, Werb Z, Tan LK, Rosen JM, Varmus HE (2003 Dec 23). Evidence that transgenes encoding components of the Wnt signaling pathway preferentially induce mammary cancers from progenitor cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 100(26), 15853-8.
  30. Freeman KW, Welm BE, Gangula RD, Rosen JM, Ittmann M, Greenberg NM, Spencer DM (2003 Dec 1). Inducible prostate intraepithelial neoplasia with reversible hyperplasia in conditional FGFR1-expressing mice. Cancer Res, 63(23), 8256-63.
  31. Freeman KW, Gangula RD, Welm BE, Ozen M, Foster BA, Rosen JM, Ittmann M, Greenberg NM, Spencer DM (2003 Oct 1). Conditional activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) 1, but not FGFR2, in prostate cancer cells leads to increased osteopontin induction, extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation, and in vivo proliferation. Cancer Res, 63(19), 6237-43.
  32. Pownall ME, Welm BE, Freeman KW, Spencer DM, Rosen JM, Isaacs HV (2003 Apr 1). An inducible system for the study of FGF signalling in early amphibian development. Dev Biol, 256(1), 89-99.
  33. Seagroves TN, Hadsell D, McManaman J, Palmer C, Liao D, McNulty W, Welm B, Wagner KU, Neville M, Johnson RS (2003 Apr). HIF1alpha is a critical regulator of secretory differentiation and activation, but not vascular expansion, in the mouse mammary gland. Development, 130(8), 1713-24.
  34. Welm BE, Freeman KW, Chen M, Contreras A, Spencer DM, Rosen JM (2002 May 13). Inducible dimerization of FGFR1: development of a mouse model to analyze progressive transformation of the mammary gland. J Cell Biol, 157(4), 703-14.
  35. Welm BE, Tepera SB, Venezia T, Graubert TA, Rosen JM, Goodell MA (2002 May 1). Sca-1(pos) cells in the mouse mammary gland represent an enriched progenitor cell population. Dev Biol, 245(1), 42-56.


  1. Smith BA, Welm AL, Welm BE (2012 Jul). On the shoulders of giants: a historical perspective of unique experimental methods in mammary gland research. [Review]. Semin Cell Dev Biol, 23(5), 583-90.
  2. Welm B, Behbod F, Goodell MA, Rosen JM (2003 Oct). Isolation and characterization of functional mammary gland stem cells. [Review]. Cell Prolif, 36 Suppl 1, 17-32.
  3. Welm B, Mott J, Werb Z (2002 Mar 19). Developmental biology: vasculogenesis is a wreck without RECK. [Review]. Curr Biol, 12(6), R209-11.

Book Chapter

  1. Shelton DN, Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Illa-Bochaca I, Ortiz-deSolorzano C, Barcellos-Hoff MH, Welm BE (). Use of stem cell markers in dissociated mammary populations. In Methods in Molecular Biology: stem cells.
  2. Illa-Bochaca I, Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Shelton DN, Welm BE, Ortiz-deSolorzano C, Barcellos-Hoff MH (). Limiting-dilution transplantation assays in mammary stem cell studies. In Methods in Molecular Biology: stem cells.
  3. Fernandez-Gonzalez R, Illa-Bochaca I, Shelton DN, Welm BE, Ortiz-deSolorzano C, Barcellos-Hoff MH (). In situ analysis of cell populations: Long-term label-retaining cells. In Methods in Molecular Biology: stem cells.


  1. Matsen CB, Stijleman IJ, Bernard PS, Neumayer LA, Welm BE (). Building a better model of basal-like breast cancer [Abstract]. J Surg Res, 172(2), 342.
  2. Welm B, Kittrell F, Medina D, Rosen J Krnacik S (1996). Expression of Fgf-8 during murine mammary gland development and tumorigenesis. American Society for Cell Biology [Abstract]. Mol Bio Cell, 7, 186a.
  3. He D, Welm B, Scott B, Turner D, Ouspenski I, Brinkley BR (1995). Correlation of human centromere-specific alpha-satellite DNA with functional kinetichore subunits. American Society for Cell Biology [Abstract]. Mol Bio Cell, 6, 360a.