A photo of James Wells, PhD.

Director for Research, Division of Endocrinology

Chief Scientific Office, Center for Stem Cell and Organoid Medicine (CuSTOM)

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

513-636-8767

513-636-4317

Biography & Affiliation

Biography

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.

Research Interests

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 CuSTOM web page.

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Divisions

Endocrinology, Developmental Biology



Education

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. 

Publications

Personalized assessment of normal tissue radiosensitivity via transcriptome response to photon, proton and carbon irradiation in patient-derived human intestinal organoids. Nowrouzi, A; Sertorio, MG; Akbarpour, M; Knoll, M; Krunic, D; Kuhar, M; Schwager, C; Brons, S; Debus, J; Wells, SI; et al. Cancers. 2020; 12:469-469.

Tissue Responses to Shiga Toxin in Human Intestinal Organoids. Pradhan, S; Karve, SS; Weiss, AA; Hawkins, J; Poling, HM; Helmrath, MA; Wells, JM; McCauley, HA. CMGH Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2020; 10:171-190.

Generation of esophageal organoids and organotypic raft cultures from human pluripotent stem cells. Shacham-Silverberg, V; Wells, JM. Methods in Cell Biology. : Elsevier; Elsevier; 2020.

Endosome-Mediated Epithelial Remodeling Downstream of Hedgehog-Gli Is Required for Tracheoesophageal Separation. Nasr, T; Mancini, P; Rankin, SA; Edwards, NA; Agricola, ZN; Kenny, AP; Kinney, JL; Daniels, K; Vardanyan, J; Han, L; et al. Developmental Cell. 2019; 51:665-674.e6.

Recent advances in deriving human endodermal tissues from pluripotent stem cells. Kechele, DO; Wells, JM. Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 2019; 61:92-100.

Activation of Hedgehog Signaling Promotes Development of Mouse and Human Enteric Neural Crest Cells, Based on Single-Cell Transcriptome Analyses. Lau, S; Li, Z; Lai, FP-L; Lui, KN-C; Li, P; Munera, JO; Pan, G; Mahe, MM; Hui, C; Wells, JM; et al. Gastroenterology. 2019; 157:1556-1571.e5.

Modelling human hepato-biliary-pancreatic organogenesis from the foregut–midgut boundary. Koike, H; Iwasawa, K; Ouchi, R; Maezawa, M; Giesbrecht, K; Saiki, N; Ferguson, A; Kimura, M; Thompson, WL; Wells, JM; et al. Nature. 2019; 574:112-116.

Modeling Steatohepatitis in Humans with Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Organoids. Ouchi, R; Togo, S; Kimura, M; Shinozawa, T; Koido, M; Koike, H; Thompson, W; Karns, RA; Mayhew, CN; McGrath, PS; et al. Cell Metabolism. 2019; 30:374-384.e6.

A Comprehensive Structure-Function Study of Neurogenin3 Disease-Causing Alleles during Human Pancreas and Intestinal Organoid Development. Zhang, X; McGrath, PS; Salomone, J; Rahal, M; McCauley, HA; Schweitzer, J; Kovall, R; Gebelein, B; Wells, JM. Developmental Cell. 2019; 50:367-380.e7.

Noncoding deletions reveal a gene that is critical for intestinal function. Oz-Levi, D; Olender, T; Bar-Joseph, I; Zhu, Y; Marek-Yagel, D; Barozzi, I; Osterwalder, M; Alkelai, A; Ruzzo, EK; Han, Y; et al. Nature. 2019; 571:107-111.