Welch named to 2023 American Chemical Society’s CAS Future Leaders

Cel WelchCel Welch, a Brown biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidate, has been named to the American Chemical Society’s Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) Future Leaders program. Welch is one of 35 elite Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars to receive the prestigious award that supports the growth of science leadership potential of early-career scientists. They landed on the list for their research focusing on the creation of new fluidic-electronic device technologies. Welch has explored this in their thesis, which is focused on creating integrated cellular diagnostic technologies that apply electronics, microfluidics, and machine learning techniques.

Welch has developed technologies for diagnostic testing using microscale physics and engineering, and holds four patents, with others pending, on new devices for cell and tissue analysis, as well as wearable biosensors. Welch is working to commercialize these technologies through PerkinElmer Inc. and other industry partnerships.

This isn’t the first time Welch has engaged in leadership activities. Welch runs the “Fluidic-Electronic Device Engineering Team” within the Tripathi Lab at Brown, and has mentored several students at all levels over the years. They have also previously served as a Teaching Assistant for the Master’s in Technology Leadership Program, in the Science & Technology Effective Leadership Theory & Practice course. In this role, Welch helped to integrate engineering and science concepts into the traditional leadership educational content.

“As a participant of the CAS Future Leaders Program, I will learn many invaluable skills that will further my development as a scientist,” said Welch. “I look forward to connecting with other early-career researchers and gaining perspective on how to become a transformational leader in engineering academia and scientific research.” 

Future leaders are awarded an expense-paid trip to the ACS meeting in the fall, where they are invited to present their research, along with a $1,000 prize and a 3-year membership to the organization. 

After receiving a bachelor of science degree from McGill University in 2019, Welch joined the Tripathi Lab at Brown with an interest in translating low-cost, accessible technologies for cancer diagnostics, fetal health, and minority health and disparities applications. Last fall, Welch and Professor Anubhav Tripathi were among five global finalists in the Most Innovative Solution in Digital Health and Social Care category of the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Innovation Awards for TissueSHOCK, a novel electrical method and device to dissociate tissues for downstream single-cell analysis. 

Welch was recently named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the science category, as well as IET’s list of 95 inspiring engineers and technologists of the past, present and future. 

CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, is an organization of expert scientists, technologists, and business leaders with a successful and extended history of delivering scientific information opportunities. Since 2010, the program has awarded Ph.D. students and postdoctoral scholars with opportunities to network with peer scientists from around the world, connect with industry thought leaders, and take part in science leadership training. This year’s participants were selected from among hundreds of highly qualified applicants, representing a wide array of scientific disciplines and organizations from around the world.