Research interests

The laboratory is interested in understanding novel extrinsic and intrinsic factors that regulate CD8 T-cell function in the skin. We are also interested in understanding how immunosuppressive drugs affect naïve and memory CD8 T-cell function in the skin. There are 4 major research themes in the laboratory.

Research projects

  • Novel intrinsic pathways of CD8 T-cell regulation in the skin
  • The role of CD4/CD8 double-positive T-cells in skin immunity
  • The contribution of plasmacytoid dendritic cells to T-cell suppression
  • The creation and testing of novel compounds that impact on T-cell function in the skin

Researcher biography

James Wells is a Senior Research Fellow 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.

Biography

Dr 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 University, 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.

Areas of research