Aalim M. Weljie, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Department: Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics

Contact information
10-113 Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Blvd, Bldg 421
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-573-8085
Lab: 215-898-2220
B.Sc. (Chemistry; Certificate in Engineering)
Mount Allison University, 1996.
Ph.D. (Biochemistry)
University of Calgary, 2002.
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Description of Research Expertise

The Weljie Lab is at the forefront of understanding systems level changes in metabolism in a translational medicine context, particularly related to sleep and circadian rhythms. We are in the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics within the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Our primary approaches use metabolomics technologies such as mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magentic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) for steady state metabolite measurements, stable isotope tracing of substrate metabolites, and MS imaging approaches using desorption electrospray ionization (DESI)-MS.

Metabolomics is a growing sub-field of systems biology centered on the study of small biological molecules in biological fluids and tissues. Recent research demonstrates that analysis of metabolite concentrations in living systems is useful in disease diagnosis, prognosis, and predicting drug efficacy in a personalized medicine context.

There is an intrinsic link between metabolism and function of the innate circadian clock system in numerous organisms and disease states, but the exact mechanism by which the clock controls mammalian metabolism is poorly understood. Our work seeks to fill this knowledge gap along with a particular emphasis on understanding the relationship of the clock with sleep, cancer and environmental health.

Selected Publications

Meng H, Sengupta A, Ricciotti E, Mrčela A, Mathew D, Mazaleuskaya LL, Ghosh S, Brooks TG, Turner AP, Schanoski AS, Lahens NF, Tan AW, Woolfork A, Grant G, Susztak K, Letizia AG, Sealfon SC, Wherry EJ, Laudanski K, Weljie AM, Meyer NB, FitzGerald GA.: Deep Phenotyping of the Lipidomic Response in COVID and non-COVID Sepsis. bioRxiv Jun 2023.

Anderson ST, Meng H, Brooks TG, Tang SY, Lordan R, Sengupta A, Nayak S, Mřela A, Sarantopoulou D, Lahens NF, Weljie A, Grant GR, Bushman FD, FitzGerald GA.: Sexual dimorphism in the response to chronic circadian misalignment on a high-fat diet. Sci Transl Med 15: eabo2022, May 2023.

Bedont JL, Kolesnik A, Pivarshev P, Malik D, Hsu CT, Weljie A, Sehgal A.: Chronic sleep loss sensitizes Drosophila melanogaster to nitrogen stress. Curr Biol Mar 2023.

Zhang D, Li AM, Hu G, Huang M, Yang F, Zhang L, Wellen KE, Xu X, Conn CS, Zou W, Kahn M, Rhoades SD, Weljie AM, Fuchs SY, Amankulor N, Yoshor D, Ye J, Koumenis C, Gong Y, Fan Y.: PHGDH-mediated endothelial metabolism drives glioblastoma resistance to chimeric antigen receptor T cell immunotherapy. Cell Metab 35: 517-534, Mar 2023.

DeRollo RE, Cazarin J, Ahmad Shahidan SNAB, Burchett JB, Mwangi D, Krishnaiah S, Hsieh AL, Walton ZE, Brooks R, Mello SS, Weljie AM, Dang CV, Altman BJ.: MYC disrupts transcriptional and metabolic circadian oscillations in cancer and promotes enhanced biosynthesis. bioRxiv Jan 2023.

Skarke C, Lordan R, Barekat K, Naik A, Mathew D, Ohtani T, Greenplate AR, Grant GR, Lahens NF, Gouma S, Troisi E, Sengupta A, Weljie AM, Meng W, Luning Prak ET, Lundgreen K, Bates P, Meng H, FitzGerald GA.: Modulation of the Immune Response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Vaccination by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2023.

Lu Z, Chen J, Yu P, Atherton MJ, Gui J, Tomar VS, Middleton JD, Sullivan NT, Singhal S, George SS, Woolfork AG, Weljie AM, Hai T, Eruslanov EB, Fuchs SY.: Tumor factors stimulate lysosomal degradation of tumor antigens and undermine their cross-presentation in lung cancer. Nat Commun 13: 6623, Nov 2022.

Lu Z, McBrearty N, Chen J, Tomar VS, Zhang H, De Rosa G, Tan A, Weljie AM, Beiting DP, Miao Z, George SS, Berger A, Saggu G, Diehl JA, Koumenis C, Fuchs SY.: ATF3 and CH25H regulate effector trogocytosis and anti-tumor activities of endogenous and immunotherapeutic cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Cell Metab 34: 1342-1358, Sep 2022.

Verginadis II, Avgousti H, Monslow J, Skoufos G, Chinga F, Kim K, Leli NM, Karagounis IV, Bell BI, Velalopoulou A, Salinas CS, Wu VS, Li Y, Ye J, Scott DA, Osterman AL, Sengupta A, Weljie A, Huang M, Zhang D, Fan Y, Radaelli E, Tobias JW, Rambow F, Karras P, Marine JC, Xu X, Hatzigeorgiou AG, Ryeom S, Diehl JA, Fuchs SY, Puré E, Koumenis C.: A stromal Integrated Stress Response activates perivascular cancer-associated fibroblasts to drive angiogenesis and tumour progression. Nat Cell Biol 2022.

Lordan R, Prior S, Hennessy E, Naik A, Ghosh S, Paschos GK, Skarke C, Barekat K, Hollingsworth T, Juska S, Mazaleuskaya LL, Teegarden S, Glascock AL, Anderson S, Meng H, Tang SY, Weljie A, Bottalico L, Ricciotti E, Cherfane P, Mrcela A, Grant G, Poole K, Mayer N, Waring M, Adang L, Becker J, Fries S, FitzGerald GA, Grosser T.: Considerations for the Safe Operation of Schools During the Coronavirus Pandemic. Front Public Health 9: 751451, Dec 2021.

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Last updated: 07/21/2023
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