Joe Welch Awarded SCIRTS Postdoctoral Fellowship


Joe Welch, PhD, was awarded a Spinal Cord Injury Research on the Translational Spectrum (SCIRTS) Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Dr. Welch’s project “Optimizing Acute Intermittent Hypoxia (AIH) to Improve Breathing in Humans with Chronic Cervical Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)” is guided by the principle that a thorough understanding of the biological basis of AIH-induced respiratory plasticity will accelerate translation of this still novel rehabilitation approach to the clinic. Guided by his mentors, CRRR Director Dr. Gordon Mitchell and BREATHE Trainer Dr. Emily Fox, Dr. Welch will make the necessary first steps to address fundamental gaps in our knowledge concerning AIH-induced functional recovery following spinal injury in humans. This research may also suggest means to amplify AIH-induced functional recovery via combination with pharmacological therapies, such as co-administration of A2A receptor antagonists, which are readily available (including caffeine) and in use in human clinical trials. Congratulations, Dr. Welch!