Dr. Wells is Professor of Medicine and Vice-Chief for Research in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She received a medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and carried out postdoctoral research at Harvard University and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Sciences.
Her area of research expertise is in interactions between cells, matrix proteins, and mechanical factors as regulators of fibrosis and tissue behavior, particularly in the liver and bile ducts. She has been a leader in defining the role of mechanical forces in liver and biliary wound healing and fibrosis and directs an interdisciplinary research group with ongoing studies of the role of mechanics in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatocellular carcinoma, and biliary atresia.
Dr. Wells is a former Associate Editor of Gastroenterology and was one of two founding Associate Editors of the new American Gastroenterological Association journal Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. She is Co-Director of a multi-site National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center, the Center for Engineering MechanoBiology (CEMB), that focuses on bringing together researchers from the physical and biological sciences in studying mechanobiology. She is also the Associate Director of the Penn NIDDK-funded (DDRCC P30) Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases.