Aalim M. Weljie, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Member, Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology
Member, Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics
Member, Circadian and Sleep Institute
Department: Pharmacology

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

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.

Hsu JC, Du Y, Sengupta A, Dong YC, Mossburg KJ, Bouché M, Maidment ADA, Weljie AM, Cormode DP.: Effect of Nanoparticle Synthetic Conditions on Ligand Coating Integrity and Subsequent Nano-Biointeractions. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 13: 58401-58410, Dec 2021.

Bottalico LN, Korlyakova J, Weljie AM, Habibi HR.: Seasonally Related Disruption of Metabolism by Environmental Contaminants in Male Goldfish (Carassius auratus). Front Toxicol 3: 750870, Sep 2021.

Gehrman P, Gunter P, Findley J, Frasso R, Weljie AM, Kuna ST, Kayser MS.: Randomized Noninferiority Trial of Telehealth Delivery of Cognitive Behavioral Treatment of Insomnia Compared to In-Person Care. J Clin Psychiatry 82: 20m13723, Aug 2021.

Goldschmied JR, Sengupta A, Sharma A, Taylor L, Morales KH, Thase ME, Thase ME, Weljie A, Kayser MS.: Treatment of Insomnia with Zaleplon in HIV+ Significantly Improves Sleep and Depression. Psychopharmacol Bull 51: 50-64, Jun 2021.

Mithani S, Yun S, Leete JJ, Guedes VA, Fink AM, Pattinson CL, Kim HS, Weljie A, Gill JM, Gehrman P.: Whole blood transcriptome analysis using RNA sequencing in individuals with insomnia disorder and good sleepers: a pilot study. Sleep Med 80: 1-8, Apr 2021.

Ch R, Rey G, Ray S, Jha PK, Driscoll PC, Dos Santos MS, Malik DM, Lach R, Weljie AM, MacRae JI, Valekunja UK, Reddy AB.: Rhythmic glucose metabolism regulates the redox circadian clockwork in human red blood cells. Nat Commun 12: 377, Jan 2021.

Bottalico LN, Weljie AM.: Cross-species physiological interactions of endocrine disrupting chemicals with the circadian clock. Gen Comp Endocrinol 301: 113650, Jan 2021.

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Last updated: 10/11/2022
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