Associate Professor James Wells

Associate Professor

Frazer Institute
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 344 36983


James Wells is an Associate Professor at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute and the Director of Immunology at the Dermatology Research Centre in Brisbane, Australia. He studies the adaptive immune system, which plays a key role in the immediate response to infection and malignancy. The primary goal of his research is to discover and understand new regulatory pathways and mechanisms that control CD8 T-cell function, particularly in the skin. The Wells lab has a particular interest in extrinsic and intrinsic regulatory influences on CD8 T-cells and conducts basic research using in vivo and in vitro model systems. The Wells lab collaborates with immunologists, cell biologists, imaging specialists, clinical research teams and industry partners.


A/Prof Wells undertook his undergraduate degree in immunology at The University of Edinburgh, and then received his PhD from King’s College London in 2004, working with Dr Joanna Galea-Lauri and Professor Farzin Farzaneh on the generation of novel DC-based vaccines. He then under took two postdoctoral positions: firstly with Dr Alistair Noble at the MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma in London (UK) where he studied vaccine-induced modulation of CD8 T-cells, and then with Professor Chris Evans at Harvard Medical School, Boston (USA), where he studied the discovery of modified CD8 T-cell epitopes targeted against genetic translocations. James was then awarded a prestigious 5-year Perpetual Trustees Fellowship to allow him to establish a laboratory in Brisbane, Australia, and was appointed as a Group Leader at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute in 2011.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of London
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Edinburgh


  • Veitch, Margaret, Beaumont, Kimberly, Pouwer, Rebecca, Chew, Hui Yi, Frazer, Ian H, Soyer, H Peter, Campbell, Scott, Dymock, Brian W, Harvey, Andrew, Cock, Terrie-Anne and Wells, James W (2023). Local blockade of tacrolimus promotes T-cell-mediated tumor regression in systemically immunosuppressed hosts. Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, 11 (9), e006783. doi: 10.1136/jitc-2023-006783

  • Firdaus, Farrhana Z., Bartlett, Stacey, Hussein, Waleed M., Lu, Lantian, Wright, Quentin, Huang, Wenbin, Nahar, Ummey J., Yang, Jieru, Khongkow, Mattaka, Veitch, Margaret, Koirala, Prashamsa, Ruktanonchai, Uracha R., Monteiro, Michael J., Gonzalez Cruz, Jazmina L., Stephenson, Rachel J., Wells, James W., Toth, Istvan and Skwarczynski, Mariusz (2023). Liposomal formulations of a polyleucine–antigen conjugate as therapeutic vaccines against cervical cancer. Pharmaceutics, 15 (2) 602, 1-15. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics15020602

  • Liu, Timothy J., Lin, Lynlee L., McMeniman, Erin, Wu, Jason, Kao, Yung-Ching, Kumari, Snehlata, Boyle, Glen M., Wells, James W., Soyer, H. Peter and Gonzalez-Cruz, Jazmina L. (2022). Cytokine/Chemokine assessment as a complementary diagnostic tool for inflammatory skin diseases. Frontiers in Immunology, 13 1028435, 1-8. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.1028435

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  • Doctor Philosophy

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