Dr Timothy Wells

Senior Research Fellow in Huma

The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute
Faculty of Medicine


Dr Timothy Wells joined the Diamantina Institute in 2016 as a Senior Research Fellow. His research focuses on the interactions between the host immune system and Gram negative bacteria during chronic lung infection. Dr Wells is passionate about making his research as clinically relevant as possible, with his work previously having led to novel treatment of critically ill patients. His research uses a mixture of molecular microbiology, immunology and genomic approaches.

Research Impacts

Dr Wells’s original work in the field of host- pathogen interactions during chronic lung infection has led to several key insights and direct translation to the clinic.

Key research outputs: The most important finding of this research is the identification of ‘inhibitory antibodies’ in patients who have chronic Pseudomonas infections. These inhibitory antibodies were found to prevent both complement and cell mediated killing of patient’s cognate strains. Importantly, he found patients with high titres of inhibitory antibodies had worse lung function than patients infected with Pseudomonas who had normal serum killing. This finding led to the successful treatment of two patients by a novel method. He has also developed a diagnostic test to identify inhibitory antibodies against Pseudomonas from patient serum and has a patent for this methodology. Using this test he found that 14% of 200 patients with bronchiectasis had inhibitory antibodies to Pseudomonas.


  • Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honours), The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


  • Browning, Douglas F., Bavro, Vassiliy N., Mason, Jessica L., Sevastsyanovich, Yanina R., Rossiter, Amanda E., Jeeves, Mark, Wells, Timothy J., Knowles, Timothy J., Cunningham, Adam F., Donald, James W., Palmer, Tracy, Overduin, Michael and Henderson, Ian R. (2015) Cross-species chimeras reveal BamA POTRA and β-barrel domains must be fine-tuned for efficient OMP insertion. Molecular Microbiology, 97 4: 646-659. doi:10.1111/mmi.13052

  • Wells, Timothy J., Whitters, Deborah, Sevastsyanovich, Yanina R., Heath, Jennifer N., Pravin, John, Goodall, Margaret, Browning, Douglas F., O'Shea, Matthew K., Cranston, Amy, De Soyza, Anthony, Cunningham, Adam F., MacLennan, Calman A., Henderson, Ian R. and Stockley, Robert A. (2014) Increased severity of respiratory infections associated with elevated anti-LPS IgG2 which inhibits serum bactericidal killing. Journal of Experimental Medicine, 211 9: 1893-1904. doi:10.1084/jem.20132444

  • Browning, Douglas F., Matthews, Sophie A., Rossiter, Amanda E., Sevastsyanovich, Yanina R., Jeeves, Mark, Mason, Jessica L., Wells, Timothy J., Wardius, Catherine A., Knowles, Timothy J., Cunningham, Adam F., Bavro, Vassiliy N., Overduin, Michael and Henderson, Ian R. (2013) Mutational and topological analysis of the Escherichia coli BamA protein. PLoS ONE, 8 12: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084512

View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Gresshoff, PM, Gualtieri, G, Laniya, T, Indrasumunar, A, Miyahara, A, Nontachaiyapoom, S, Wells, T, Biswas, B, Chan, PK, Scott, P, Kinkema, M, Djordjevic, M, Hoffmann, D, Pregelj, L, Buzas, DM, Li, DX, Men, A, Jiang, Q, Hwang, CH and Carroll, BJ (2005). Functional genomics of the regulation of nodule number in legumes. In: Biological Nitrogen Fixation, Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment. Biological Nitrogen Fixation, Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment Proceedings of the 14th International Nitrogen Fixation Congress. 14th International Nitrogen Fixation Congress, Beijing, China, (173-178). 27 October - 1 November 2004. doi:10.1007/1-4020-3570-5

  • Gresshoff, P. M., Carroll, B. J., Gualtieri Gonzalez, G. S., Vickers, C., Kuen, P., Huang, C., Scott, P. T., Kinkema, M. D., Men, A., Stiller, J., Jiang, Q., Laniya, T.S., Buzas, D. M., Miyahara, A., Indrasumunar, A., Nontachaiyapoom, S., Hoffmann, D., Biswas, B., Wells, T. J., So, H., Pregelj, L. and Dong, X. (2004). Functional genomic analysis of nodule development in soybean and Lotus Japonicus. In: ComBio 2004. Com Bio 2004, Intercontinental Burswood Resort, Perth, Australia, (36-36). 26-30 September, 2004.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors: