Alan Wells, D.M.Sc., M.D.

  • Professor and Vice-Chair
  • Departments of Pathology and Bioengineering

Education & Training

  • M.D. in Medicine from Brown University, 1988
  • D.M.Sc. in Tumor Biology from Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, 1982

Research Interest Summary

Physiological and Pathological Aspects of Cell Motility – from Molecules to Tissues.

Research Categories

Research Interests

Within his laboratory, Dr. Wells and his research team are aiming to gain a better understanding of cells respond to their local environment. Due to the widespread implications of such research, Dr. Wells has been featured in several publications. Ultimately, the importance of his research flows from the provision of reinforcing insights and novel avenues for exploration into the basic signaling pathways, as well as functioning of entire organisms. Currently, Dr. Wells is concentrating his research efforts towards gaining further knowledge of the conditions of dysregulated (tumor dissemination and chemoresistance of tumors) and orchestrated (wound healing and organogenesis) responses.

Representative Publications

YL Chao, Q Wu, C Shepard, A Wells (2012). Hepatocyte-induced re-expression of E-cadherin in breast and prostate cancer cells increases chemoresistance. Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 29, 39-50. PMID: 21964676. 

C Yates, DL Whaley, A Wells (2012). Transplanted fibroblasts prevent dysfunctional repair in a murine CXCR3-deficient scarring model. Cell Transplantation 21, 919-931. PMID: 22236446 

YL Chao, Q Wu, M Acquafondata, R Dhir, A Wells (2012). Partial mesenchymal to epithelial reverting transition in breast and prostate cancer metastases. Cancer Microenvironment 5, 19-28. PMID: 21892699. PMC3343195 

M Rodrigues, O Turner, D Stolz, L Griffith, A Wells (2012). Production of reactive oxygen species by multipotent stromal cells/mesenchymal stem cells upon exposure to Fas Ligand. Cell Transplantation 21, 2171-2187. PMID: 22526333 

Q Wu, R Dhir, A Wells (2012). Altered CXCR3 isoform expression regulates prostate cancer cell migration and invasion. Molecular Cancer 11, 3e. PMID: 22236567. PMC3320557. 

AS Meyer, SK Hughes-Alford, JE Kay, A Castillo, A Wells, FB Gertler, DA Lauffenburger (2012). 2D Protrusion but not motility predicts growth factor-induced cancer cell migration in 3D collagen. Journal of Cell Biology 197, 721-729. PMID: 22665521. PMC3373410 

C Yates-Binder, M Rodger, J Jaynes, A Wells, RJ Bodnar, T Turner (2012). An IP-10 (CXCL10)-derived peptide inhibits angiogenesis. PLoS One, e40812. PMID: 22815829 

J Jones, H Wang, J Zhou, S Hardy, T Turner, D Austin, Q He, A Wells, W Grizzle, C Yates (2012). Nuclear Kaiso indicates aggressive prostate cancer and promotes migration and invasiveness of prostate cancer cells. American Journal of Pathology 181, 1836-1846. PMID: 22974583 

J Grahovac, D Becker, A Wells (2013). Melanoma cell invasiveness is regulated at least in part by the epidermal growth factor-like repeats of tenascin-C. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 133, 210-220. PMID: 22951722 

M Rodrigues, HC Blair, L Stockdale, L Griffith, A Wells (2013). Surface tethered epidermal growth factor protects proliferating and differentiating multipotent stromal cells from FasL induced apoptosis. Stem Cells 31, 104-116. PMID: 22948863 

T Travers, H Shao, A Wells, C Camacho (2013). Modeling the assembly and disassembly of multi-domain structures of -actinin-4 and its role in actin-crosslinking. Biophysical Journal 104, 705-715. PMID: 23442921 

D Taylor, JZ Wells, A Savol, C Chennubhotla, A Wells (2013). Modeling boundary conditions for balanced proliferation in metastatic latency. Clinical Cancer Research 19, 1063-1070. PMID: 23329811. PMC3594128 

H Shao, T Travers, C Camacho, A Wells (2013). The carboxyl tail of alpha-actinin-4 regulates its susceptibility to m-calpain and thus functions in cell migration and spreading. International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology 45, 1051-1063. 

M Rodrigues, CC Yates, A Nuschke, L Griffith, A Wells (2013). The matrikine tenascin-C protects multipotential stromal cells/mesenchymal stem cells from death cytokines such as FasL. Tissue Engineering 19, 1972-1983. PMID: 23541003; PMC: 3725854 

Z Ding, M Joy, R Bhargava, M Gunsaulus, N Lakshman, M Miron-Mendoza, M Petroll, J Condeelis, A Wells, P Roy (2013) Profilin-1 downregulation has contrasting effects on early vs late steps of breast cancer metastasis. Oncogene, in press. PMID: 23686314. PMCID: PMC3834125 

J Jamison, D Lauffenburger, JH-C Wang, A Wells (2013). PKCδ localization at the membrane increases traction force dependent on PLC?1/EGFR signaling. PLoS One 8, e77434. PMID: 24155954. PMC3796482 

T-C Hang, NC Tedford, RJ Reddy, T Rimchala, A Wells, FM White, RD Kamm, DA Lauffenburger (2013). Vascular endothelial growth factor and platelet factor 4 inputs modulate human microvascular endothelial signaling in a three-dimensional matrix migration context. Molecular and Cellular Proteomics 12, 3704-3718. PMID: 24023389. PMC3861718 

RJ Bodnar, ME Rodgers, W Chen, A Wells (2013). Pericyte regulation of vascular remodeling through the CXC Receptor 3. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 33, 2818-2829. PMID: 24135023 

MC Sekar, K Shahiwala, L Leloup, A Wells (2014). Modulation of epidermal growth factor stimulated ERK phosphorylation and motility by inositol trisphosphate kinase. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences and Pharmacology 1, 1-5. 
DP Taylor, A Clark, S Wheeler, A Wells (2014). Hepatic nonparenchymal cells drive metastatic breast cancer outgrowth and partial epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 144, 551-560. PMID: 24610032 

B Ma, A Wells (2014). The MAP kinases p38 and ERK are involved in hepatocyte-mediated phenotypic switching in prostate cancer cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry 289, 11153-11161. PMID: 24619413 

J Jamison, JH-C Wang, A Wells (2014). PKC regulates force signaling during VEGF/CXCL4 induced dissociation of endothelial tubes. PLoS One 9, e93968. PMID: 24699667, PMCID: PMC3974837

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