James M. Wells, PhD

Director, Basic Research, Division of Endocrinology

Director, Pluripotent Stem Cell Center

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone: 513-636-8767

Fax: 513-636-4317


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Understanding the development of the pancreas, and gastrointestinal organs; generating 3-dimensional human tissues from pluripotent stem cells and using these as human models of diabetes and digestive disease.

For more information, please visit the Wells lab web page.


The focus of his teams basic research has been to identify the molecular mechanisms involved in the embryonic development of endocrine cells including pancreatic beta cells and tissues of the gastrointestinal tract. Their translational projects have focused on identifying new approaches to improve child health in several ways: 1. To identify and use embryonic pathways to generate complex, three-dimensional organ tissues from pluripotent stem cells, 2. Use these tissues to develop new in vitro human models for diabetes and digestive disease research and 3. Develop long-term, therapeutic strategies for cell and tissue-replacement therapies.

Education and Training

BS: Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Maine, Orono, ME, 1987.

PhD: Graduate program in Genetics, SUNY at Stony Brook, New York, 1995.

Postdoctoral Fellow: Harvard University, Cambridge MA, 1996 - 2001. 


View Dr. Wells PubMed Publications.


Investigation of regional identity in human intestinal stem cells. Principal investigator (along with Shroyer NF, PI and Helmrath M, PI). National Institutes of Health. Sep 2014 – Aug 2019. NIH U01DK103117.

Single Cell Dissection of Human Intestine Development. Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Sep 2013 – Aug 2018. NIH 1R01DK098350.

Control of human endocrine cell development. Contact Principal Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Apr 2012 – Mar 2017. NIH 1R01DK092456-01.

Transcriptional Control of Placental Differentiation. Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Feb 2011 – Jan 2016. NIH R01 HD065339.

KLF5 regulation of intestinal development and stem cell homeostasis. Co-Investigator. National Institutes of Health. Aug 2011 – Jul 2015. NIH 1R01 DK092306-01.