PROF Christine Wells

PROF Christine Wells


  • Biological data visualisation, integration and analysis (Bioinformatics)
  • Gene expression and regulation (Transcription)
  • Genome Biology (Genome Annotation)
  • Innate immunity (Tissue injury and repair)
  • Stem cells and development (Stem cell systems biology)
  • Systems biology (Synthetic cell biology)



  • Christine Wells is Professor of Stem Cell Systems and Director of the University of Melbourne Centre for Stem Cell Systems. She is a genome biologist with a focus on the differentiation and activation of mammalian cells,and a particular interest in the intersection between innate immunity and stem cell biology in tissue injury and repair. She directs the Stemformatics collaboration resource, leads the Multiomics Stem Cell study for Bioplatforms Australia/Stem Cells Australia and is a lead participant in several major international consortia including the FANTOM consortium. 

    Professor Wells graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of New England in 1988.  She gained experience in stem cell sciences, genetics and genomics at various positions in Australia and at the UK Medical Research Council, MRC Harwell before undertaking postgraduate studies at The University of Queensland. She gained a Doctor of Philosophy in 2004. Over the past decade she has worked at Griffith University, The University of Glasgow and The University of Queensland, developing a program of research in genomics and bioinformatics, and the application of these to better understanding of stem cell biology, tissue injury and repair. She leads a program of research that encompasses three pillars of impact and output: (1) the development and direction of community-focused collaboration platforms to enable adoption of omic data by clinicians and stem cell biologists. (2) Method development in the integration, analysis and visualisation of genomic datasets and (3) strategic application to projects that enable gene discovery and characterization in both stem cell biology and innate immunity. Her laboratory works to the principle of biological insight through data accessibility and reproducibility and a founding ethos of her laboratory is collaboration   


Member of

  • International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). ordinary member 2013 -
  • Australasian Genomics Technologies Association (AGTA). ordinary member 2005 -
  • Functional Glycomics Consortium. Phenotypic expert. 2005 -
  • Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome (FANTOM) Consortium. Australian PI 2000 -


Selected publications


Investigator on

Additional Grant Information

  • UK Funding
    2015 CIB The Carnegie Trust (68147/1) Epigenetic basis of immunological memory, (McLeod CIA) £7,485
    2014, 2015 CIA Wellcome Trust (ISSF catalyst) 3IIIformatics: visualisation and meta-analysis of inflammatory signatures. £62,000
    2014-2017 CIB MRC Investigating NF-κB p50 phosphorylation and the regulation of transcription (Carmody CIA) £633,592.98.
    Australian funding
    2016 Australian Future Fellowship $930, 000
    2015-2016 CIA Bioplatforms Australia: The systems biology of stem cells AUD$1M.
    2014-2016 CIA NHMRC APP1057846 Mincle has a dual role in tissue loss and inflammation after ischemic injury $586, 894
    2014-2016 CIB NHMRC APP1062802 Understanding Alzheimer's disease using Down syndrome as a model $756,894
    2013-2016 CIC NHMRC APP1041294 Interaction of group A streptococci with intracellular innate immune defence $789,523
    2011-2018 CIE The ARC special research initiative in Stem Cell Science $21M

    2013-2015 CIA ARC DP130100777 The Stemformatics gene expression compendium: development of multivariate statistical approaches for cross platform analyses, $269, 000
    2012-2015 CIA QLD Smart Futures Fellowship $600,000
    2012-2015 CIA JEM Research Foundation Philanthropic donation Genomic characterization of Amnion-derived stem cells $200,000.
    2012-2013 QLD Smart Futures Co-investment fund, $400,000 (CIB)
    2011-2013 NHMRC APP1010225 $352,000 (CIF)
    2010-2012 NHMRC APP597452 $559, 936 (CIA)
    2008-2012 NHMRC APP481945 $378, 830 (CIA)
    2007-2010 NHMRC APP455947 $465, 210 (CIB)
    2009-2011ARC International Linkage LP09900480 $320,000 (CIA)
    2009 ARC Equipment fund LE098334 $981,000
    2008-2010 ARC Linkage LX0882502 $74,000 (CIA)
    2007 ARC Linkage LE0775768 $400,000
    2007 ARC Linkage LE0775726 $306,000
    2007-2010 QLD Smart Futures Co-investment fund, $300,000 (CIA)
    2006-2009 ARC DP0665   


Education and training

  • PhD, The University of Queensland 2004
  • B. Sc (Hons), University of New England 1988

Awards and honors

  • Metcalf Prize for Stem Cell Research, 2015
  • Queensland Government Smart Futures Fellow, 2012
  • Women in Technology Biotech Research Excellence Award, 2010
  • Griffith University Pro-Vice Chancellors Research Excellence Award, 2008
  • NHMRC Career Development Award Fellowship, 2008
  • Australian Society for Medical Research Premier's Postdoctoral Award, 2007



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • The Wells group has an active research program in stem cell genomics and bioinformatics. This encompasses statistical tool development for data integration and meta-analysis, innovative visualisation and data sharing platforms, gene discovery and characterisation, network and systems biology. We run the platform. We are a multidisciplinary team and encourage enthusiastic students from a range of backgrounds to contact us for further information on available research projects.